Anne EVANS 1820 - 1870
Born 4th June 1820 at Sandhurst, Berkshire
Died 19th February 1870 at 16 Kensington Square, London
"In February 1870 she died as she had lived, quietly, slowly and gracefully." (Time and Chance by Joan Evans, page 136)
Anne lived at Britwell Court, Burnham, Buckinghamshire until eight or nine, when the family moved to Market Bosworth in 1829. She stayed on at Market Bosworth until the death of her father in 1854 when she moved to 16 Kensington Square. She lived here with her mother Mrs Anne Evans (DICKINSON), sister Emma and youngest brother Sebastian.
As a child she wrote poems and created tiny handmade books. In 1836 aged 16, Anne went to Madame le Faudeux's expensive school at Brighton.
“With Pussy at the piano, Mr Edwards fiddling and Dr Evans playing the 'cello, they made much music that winter (1842.)”
In 1843 Pussy persuades her father (Dr Evans) to go to the opera. "one of Donizetti's Linda di Chamouni and a Pas de Quatre with Cerito, Fanny Ellsler, and Guy Stephens, and a ballet called Giselle......We got home at 3.30am quite satisfied, and I not caring if I never attended another exposée of bad music, easy morals, and the most beautiful legs of the most pliant and graceful dancers I ever beheld! This cannot be right.' (Dr Evans.)
“Before long it seemed as if Pussy would retire from the trio. She was young and gay, loved the rhythm of dancing and riding, and went to all the festivities that Leicestershire afforded. A pleasant Dr. Arnold of Atherstone began to pay her great attention and wrote to her father to declare his affection. In the July of 1843 they seemed to be on the verge of an engagement. Then the father's diary records catastrophe: "Aug. 25. A most painful letter from Dr. Arnold but highly honourable to his head and heart. Aug.26. Dearest Anne sadly out of spirits about Pussy and Dr. Arnold. Dear Pussy on the sofa with the blinds down in the drawing room all day."
“A few months later Dr. Arnold married someone else. Pussy never recovered her spirits: she gave up dancing and riding, spent all the time she could away from Bosworth, worried her father by her religious doubts, and only soothed him by the charm of her melancholy lyrics and the tunes to which she set them.”
(Extracts from Time and Chance by Joan Evans pages 48 – 49)
Poems and Music
Published posthumously in 1880 with a Memorial Preface by Anne Thackeray Ritchie
This book has been reprinted
Lady Ritchie described her as a ‘diffident woman, who … unconsciously touched and influenced us all by her intense sincerity of heart and purpose.’
Anne's health broke down in 1867, and she was an invalid until her death.