Anne Brewster about Spinsterhood and Privacy, Diary Entry Excerpts (1876)

Dublin Core


Anne Brewster about Spinsterhood and Privacy, Diary Entry Excerpts (1876)


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892
Gender Norms


Brewster describes herself as a solitary old woman and spinster, "in love with my solitary life."
By stating that "[i]t will be a hard winter in Rome especially for American astists, for there are no forestieri coming," Brewster assesses the economic situation of the US American artist community in Rome. Pier Paolo Racioppi (2018) argues that the artists relied on US American visitors and expatriates to make a living in Rome. The latters' absence thus meant a lack of income.


The Library Company of Philadelphia


Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892


ABP 4 5, diary 1876





Diary (Entry) Item Type Metadata


[page 1] I cannot bring myself down to hard work But pazienza. This +++  state of mind must pass. War is fast coming on Russia will fight Turkey as soon as she is ready notwithstanding all her hypocritical declarations to the contrary. Then our own country is in a bad way, the election is giving great trouble so it is a dark look out on all sides. It will be a hard winter in Rome especially for American astists, for there are no forestieri coming. The last quarter of the century is beginnnng gloomily enough. But after all [inserted] this black clouding it [inserted] may clear off and give us lighter weather.

[page 2] XMas Eve: /76

How doleful we solitary old women feel on these anniversa ries! And no others can supply the places of the lost and gone. All we can do is to fold our hands patiently and look about us for objects of interest. Poor Lottie may be dead now I had a letter from her a fortnight since a strange incoherent one it was like the talk we hear in our dreams. Ms W. also wrote and explained to me her sorrowful state

  1. Dec /76

Still if we are doleful, we old spinsters on anniversaries we are not very miserable after all for (if all are as I am) we have many compensations. Our tranquil lives are so delightful I glow very year more jealous

[page 3] of my solitude. I love to be alone and it is always a slight bore to have even the most a-greeable friend come in on one This is very selfish and so convinced am I of its unhealthiness that I do not allow my self to be denied to any visitor this season. No matter how busy I may be I receive, for I am really more in love with my solitary life than I ever was before—too much so—and I see the need to correct it. To day my maid is ill and at her home. Her sister comes in to "spieciare" and cook my dinner, the rest of the day I am alone. The house is as still as a mouse nest These four long +++ are full of sun and brightness. I ought to be writing a letter to the E. Bul. [Evening Bulletin] but I walk

[page 4] up and down the long +++ of Rome[?], 130 +++ long and enjoy the stillness and sweet surround ings to the very marrow of my bones I am so extremety comfortable my apt: is perfect according to my own wishes, and my life is ordered according to my tastes & desires. Money enough to keep me from want, work enough to keep me from weariness and sufficient detachment from the world to keep me from worriment The sun is very brilliant, the air is delicious and I am only indolent. I love to think & muse and idle. But I must go to work or my fascinating life will have some little spot of vexation—it will pall on me from too much sweetness


Rome, Italy

Geocode (Latitude)


Geocode (Longitude)


Social Bookmarking



Brewster, Anne Hampton, 1818-1892, “Anne Brewster about Spinsterhood and Privacy, Diary Entry Excerpts (1876),” Archival Gossip Collection, accessed December 5, 2023,

Output Formats