The difficulty with providing an image for use as a Sepia Saturday prompt, particularly one that you've used previously, is that it's a little trickier to produce an interesting follow on article. Hence I'm going off on a somewhat different tack this week. Feel free to play the embedded sound track while you're reading, and it will hopefully provide an appropriate background to the photos.
Unidentified couple and baby with garden tent, c.1893-1898
Cabinet card (roughly trimmed) by unidentified photographer
Image © and collection of Brett Payne
Come into the garden, Maud,When Alfred - for surely that must be his name - charmed Maud with those silken words, it seems unlikely that he envisaged such an outcome: tea with Maud, but also a very alert baby, and a photographer in attendance to record the event. He is not amused!
For the black bat, Night, has flown,
Come into the garden, Maud,
I am here at the gate alone;
And the woodbine spices are wafted abroad,
And the musk of the roses blown.
For a breeze of morning moves,
And the planet of Love is on high,
Beginning to faint in the light that she loves
On a bed of daffodil sky,
To faint in the light of the sun she loves,
To faint in his light, and to die.
Maud; A Monodrama
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Miller house, shop and post office, c.1905-1910
Image republished from old postcard by unknown publisher
It wasn't just the faintly ridiculous pose which attracted me to the cabinet card, purchased on eBay, but also the tent. It is similar to one just visible in this image of the Weston Underwood garden of my great-great-grandparents John and Eliza Miller. When I last used this image, in the story of John's father James Miller, drainage man, I suggested that the tent might have been "used as a children's playhouse." Perhaps they were a common appearance in late Victorian and Edwardian gardens, and primarily protected tea drinkers from the harsh summer sun?
For more picnics and garden gatherings, please pay a visit to the 190th edition of Sepia Saturday.