Octavia Walsh

Verse and Prose

Poetical notebook


*WaO 1

Autograph poetical notebook of Octavia Walsh, written from both ends, 165 leaves (ff. 33-121 blank), in vellum. Comprising some 42 poems, largely by her and in her fair copies, the last poem unfinished, with occasional revisions, two of the poems (ff. 151r-150r rev., 143v rev.) by her brother William, with three culinary receipts added in a later hand. c.1691-1706.

Inscribed ‘Octavia Walsh her book 1694’. The MS descended through her family, Barons Ormathwaite. P.J. & A.E. Dobell's sale catalogue No. 76 (1928), item 556.

Described in detail in the online Perdita Project.

Bodleian, MS Eng. poet. e. 31.

Verse and prose notebook


WaO 2

A quarto MS volume of works by Octavia Walsh, entitled ‘The Private Entertainments of Mrs: Octavia Walsh In her vacant Hours From the Age of Fifteen to Twenty-Nine, At which Time it Pleas'd Almighty God by ye Small-pox to take her out of this World. A:C.MDCCVI’, probably compiled by her family after her death, comprising some 33 poems on miscellaneous subjects and several prose discourses on religious themes, including a pen and wash portrait of her and some notes on the related Walsh and Bromley families, c.400 pages, in contemporary calf (rebacked). Early 18th century.

Book label ‘Bromley - Martin, Ham Court’. With a note by W[illiam] B[romley] paying tribute to Octavia Walsh and stating that the contents of the MS ‘were found among her Papers after her death, till which time none of her nearest Relations knew that she was an Author’. Peter Murray Hill's sale catalogue No. 82 (1962), item 33, with a facsimile of the title.

Private owners in the UK, [Octavia Walsh MS].