Easter cards made by Louisa Stirling for her mother Henrietta, 1885 and 1887.

The papers of the Stirling family of Gargunnock include many letters and cards between family members giving a wonderful record of upper class family relations between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Louisa Christian Stirling was the eldest of the seven children of Colonel John Stirling and his wife Henrietta, née Buchanan, the other six being Charles, Anselam, known by the family nickname ‘Bim’, James, Henry, Kathleen and Josephine. Louisa was born in 1872, which makes her a teenager when she was drawing and painting these cards for her mother.

The cards that Louisa drew and painted are all centred around biblical texts for Easter. There is also a Christmas card in the collection that she made for her mother by gluing pressed plants on to a card.

There are a number of letters in the family papers written by these children to their mother, with whom they all seem to have had a particularly affectionate relationship. This letter, written when Louisa was 13 in 1885, is typical of the way in which all of the children addressed their mother and dispels the notion that Victorian households were formal and lacking in warmth.

Louisa was the aunt of Viola Stirling, who was the daughter of her brother, Charles. We have previously featured Viola’s delightful nature diary from the early 20th century on our blog and you can find out more about her here.

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