The Memoir that I have chosen to work on is a handwritten autobiography named ‘Then and Now’ (Ould 17) written by a woman called Louie Emmeline Ould (Maiden name Collins). She was born in Truro, Cornwall on 28th September 1907 making her an Edwardian. I believe through reading her memoir that it was written after the death of her Husband Thomas Ould (whom she married in 1938) as she reminisced on her life. I feel that the death of her Husband had a huge impact on her writing and it is because of his passing that she decided to write her memoir to leave to her family when it was her time to go. I think this is why she decided to use photographs and old personal documents such as poems and school qualifications.
She stood out to me as I feel her memoir is very personal. The old black and white photographs of her Parents, Sisters and Grandchildren aswel as certificates and poems she has written. Growing up close to my Nan and Grandad, who were born slightly after Louie, I have always been fascinated in old black and white photos and the stories they used to tell me. I think this is why I have made a connection with my Author as through her reminiscing about her past it has caused me to reminisce about my Nan and Grandad.
Her memoir focuses on her childhood, from where she was baptised to where she went to school, why she was given her name, the school she attended and her earliest memory to her failed first engagement. Her marriage to Thomas J Ould and how his death affected her life to her children being born and her Grandchildren! The photographs of her family allow the memoir to be more personal and I think have allowed me to connect more with my author.
I find Louie’s memoir interesting as she talks about her school life and what it was like growing up in Edwardian times and the subjects she studied whilst at school and even subject she studied after her school life such as shorthand, which there is a certificate for. She touches on topics such as her Father being a farmer when she was growing up and talks about her sisters. Although there is not much about her Husband Thomas in the memoir other than they ‘started out as friends’ (Ould 6) there is a very moving poem she has written which is in the memoir called ‘Loneliness – By a widow’ (Ould 9) that I think sums up the reason for her writing the memoir and how much the death has affected her.
See below for black and white original photographs from Louie’s handwritten memoir.
Please follow link for Louie’s timeline:
Left: Louie’s parents aged 82 and 85. Right: Louie’s Grandchildren David and Gregory