Amongst the many travel books in Worcester Cathedral Library’s collection, there is one that seems to be invested with a particularly personal affection for its subject. The book is Latium (full title A description of Latium or La Campagna Di Roma). It was published in London in 1805, and illustrated with 20 beautiful etchings by the author. Whilst the title page does not bear the author’s name, we know her to be Ellis Cornelia Knight.
Cornelia, the daughter of a Rear-Admiral, was well educated in Latin and several other European languages. Upon her father’s death she moved with her mother to Naples, where their modest income would stretch further. Here they moved in relatively exalted circles, and became part of the extended English court that centred on Sir William and Lady Hamilton. She was also acquainted with Nelson, and had become his unofficial poet laureate, writing verses celebrating his victories.
In my latest blog for Worcester Cathedral Library I take a closer look at this peculiarly personal view of early nineteenth century Italy, and reveal more about its beguiling author.
Read the full blog here: Worcester Cathedral Library Blog