BRIDGET WHELAN writer

for writers and readers….

The Life of Mrs Finnegan PART I The FLAMING RED Years….Being the TRUE ACCOUNT of the Brighton Housekeeper’s rise to prominence in the 1830s

A request has flooded in asking about my EARLY life. How did I acquire such a RICH UNDERSTANDING of human nature? Why do witty quips pullulate so readily from my plume? Who else could retain their dignity and HUMBLE modesty when drenched in accolades?
In short, what makes MRS FINNEGAN THE WOMAN she is today? Come with me, dear reader, and I shall answer all these questions and more in this TWO PART supplement…

I had one of the most romantic starts in life….

My father was a handsome Celt from the south of Ireland and my mother a beautiful Saxon (from an old Hackney family. Often would she regale me with tales of horse paddling races across the marshes.)

My parents were VERY MUCH in love. They were forced to elope because of some MINOR accountancy ERRORS my father was experiencing.

I was born in the MIDDLE of the Irish Sea on a round-the-harbour boat trip THAT set sail from Dublin. It has left me with a PREDILECTION for maritime matters. Ah, how I love the sea at Brighton. I feel an AFFINITY with all the small boats that sail on it. (Not the fishing boats, you understand, I know nothing of them, but the smell. I’m thinking more of the pleasure crafts I can spy from the basement window if I STAND on tiptoe on the table and crank my head sideways.)

In my youth I was known for my FLAME coloured red hair. A little like this, but not quite so dull…

 With my rich cultural inheritance, I am fortunate to have a remarkable breathe of vision that has often been remarked upon. I can’t count the number of times growing up someone said fancy you knowing that.

This comes closer to the way my hair used to LIGHT UP the Kerry landscape, but not so – what’s the right word? – not so frizzy

I count myself a Kerry woman, as my father hailed from that DEAR, SWEET county, the most westerly in Ireland and the wettest. While I cannot recall a DRY DAY whilst growing up, I can assure you that my childhood was the happiest.

Kerry is in the south west corner, dear readers.

Omnivorous reading was my education. I was a glutton for books in a way that I have never been for food or wine. My learning was a legend in my own home until tragedy struck.

Ah, now this picture captures something of the life, the VITALITY of my hair as a girl, but it’s lacking in ABUNDANCE…

Disaster upon disaster on my poor family fell. My father endured more accountancy errors and then, alas, my mother left for a BETTER PLACE. Mullingar I think it was…Eventually the maintenance of our home was beyond his SLENDER MEANS. In a word, we lost it.

This is more like it…and YET there is still something missing…

And in the fullness of time I was mourning for both parents. I dyed MY CLOTHES black using iron filings and the bark of the elder tree (Not to be recommended as the black quickly fades to an unbecoming rust colour that clashes with auburn hair.)

Yes. Yes! YES! It’s me! (Too much rouge on the cheeks though)

Thus I entered the world equipped only with my erudition, innate good sense and a PLENTHORA of flame coloured hair.

Return tomorrow faithful reader, and I shall tell of the stepping stones that led me to THE REGENCY TOWN HOUSE`

3 comments on “The Life of Mrs Finnegan PART I The FLAMING RED Years….Being the TRUE ACCOUNT of the Brighton Housekeeper’s rise to prominence in the 1830s

  1. Jennifer Fraser Smith
    November 14, 2020

    Love it! Image just after the map looks rather like you. More on how your flaming red locks took you to places others cannot even imagine?

    • bridget whelan
      November 16, 2020

      Thank you – will pass your comments on to Mrs Finnegan and can I suggest you take a look at Mrs Finnegan Part II – there was life after the flaming red days (but cabbages & onions did figure quite a lot)

  2. Pingback: The Life of Mrs Finnegan – PART II The CULTURED Years…Being the TRUE ACCOUNT of the Brighton Housekeeper’s rise to prominence in the 1830s | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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This entry was posted on November 14, 2020 by in Mrs Finnegen ADVICE from the 1830 and tagged , , , , .
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