This book is excellent and an invaluable resource for anyone studying the life and times of Lady Anne. It has been thoroughly researched by D.J.H Clifford who is passionate about the history of the Clifford family. Numerous quotes from Lady anne's diary have been reproduced as well as the notes Lady Anne made in the margins of her diary. The one disadvantage for anyone who is studying for a post-graduate research degree and needs to know from where the original sources are from, and which manuscripts they have been taken from will find the book a little disappointing. However, the author has included a comprehensive bibliographical list of the manuscripts and other sources at the back of the book.
Anne Clifford (1590-1676) was one of those very well-connected aristocratic and courtly ladies whose life spanned a large part of the seventeenth century. These 'diaries' are actually a collation of various manuscripts: reminiscences, memoirs, household papers, wills, legal papers and something that we might recognise as a personal diary.
As a literary patron, Clifford was connected with people like John Donne, Samuel Daniel, the Sidney-Pembroke family, and Aemilia Lanier. Lanier's poem, 'Description of Cookham', written about the house owned by Anne Clifford's mother where Anne was living, reconfigures it as a kind of proto-feminist female paradise - although there are interesting sub-texts to the poem.
Clifford was unhappily married twice, the second time to Philip Herbert, the son of Mary Sidney and one of the joint dedicatees, with his brother, of Shakespeare's first folio - and Clifford is interestingly forthright about her struggles with both marriage and her husbands.
These `diaries' give us a compelling account of Anne's life, and are another of those sites which contest nicely the idea that Renaissance women were `chaste, silent and obedient'.
This books contains many snippets of the life of Lady Anne Clifford - a tudor noblewoman moving in Royal circles. I only wish there was more. Some of the diary notes are very intriguing. Lady Anne certainly 'got around'!. It is a pity there is not more on her thoughts concerning her father, I was left feeling there was much more to know....