Tales from work experience - Katie

After searching through CALM, the archive database, I found two other pieces in the archive that I thought were interesting. Both of these pieces were to do with Nina Mdivani (who married Conan Doyle's son, Denis), who I only learnt about during this week.

The first piece that I found today was Nina's cuttings book/scrapbook. In this book, there were letters, cards and telegrams stuck to the pages. Most of the letters and telegrams in the book were from Tony, Nina's husband after Denis died, to Nina, and almost all of the correspondence here was Tony professing his undying love to his "darling Nina", which is how he opens each letter. My favourite letter in the book from Tony reads: "Darling- you have given me all the happiness in the world- how many times over."

At the back of the scrapbook there are a couple of Valentine's cards that aren't stuck down, however neither of them have any writing on them so it is hard to tell who they are from (though you would guess that they were from Nina's husband if she kept them).

The other piece that I found interesting was a collection of four of Nina's notebooks. The first notebook is an engagement diary, however she only wrote in for the last week of December and the first week of January (which suggests that she got the book as a Christmas gift that she then forgot about after the holidays).

The second notebook is written entirely in French and is just Nina's notes and lists, for example she writes down the materials that would be needed to make a hat. This notebook was also labelled "Mrs Conan Doyle", which would suggest that the notebook was from before 1955, when Denis Conan Doyle died.

The third notebook only has the first few pages filled, and it is just calculations of money with no explanation of what it is for.

The fourth notebook is completely empty apart from two pages which have pressed flowers in, and the notebook is made of a soft material with a flowery pattern on.

I think that the pieces in the archive on Nina are very interesting as I knew nothing about her previously, and it also shows the dedication that Richard Lancelyn Green had towards his collection relating to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.


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