Charlotte Guest kept an everyday journal from the age of ten years (1822) to when she became too blind to do so at 78 (1890). These records are of strong historical interest generally, but of particular interest to Mabinogi studies as it was Charlotte Guest who first published the texts, in both Welsh, and her English translation.
Although parts of the Mabinogi had been previously published by William Pughe starting in 1795, the Guest publications were the first complete version in modern print format. Her passionate and perfectionist dedication, her wealth which sponsored the volumes, her extremely high social status, and entrepreneurial skill, ensured the Mabinogi became well known to the literati of her day in Welsh, British, European, Empire and American circles.
The main period of key interest in the journals for Mabinogi studies runs from 1833 when as Charlotte Elizabeth Bertie she married John Josiah Guest, the great Welsh ironmaster; until 1855 when as a widow she remarried and left Wales for a different lifestyle. But see also subsequent republished versions after that time.
INDEX OF GUEST JOURNALS Timeline, quotes and source books/ articles.
19 May 1812 Charlotte Elizabeth Bertie b. Lincolnshire.
1833 m. John Josiah Guest, began a new life based at Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfyl.
She immediately began learning Welsh.
1838 -1845 Published The Mabinogion as a bilingual series of 7 vols. Mabinogi texts are in the 1841 volume (Pwyll) with the rest in the last volume 1845.
1849 Republished The Mabinogion as 3 vols. set.
1855 m. Charles Schreiber. Left Wales for a traveling life as a collector.
1877 Republished The Mabinogion as one vol. the English translation only, but with her full 145 pages of notes and the illustrations. This version was to be reprinted and became especially well known when adopted by the popular Everyman series in 1906.
1890 Journal ends due to blindness.
15 January 1895 Charlotte Elizabeth Schreiber d. aged 82 at Canford Manor, Dorset.
PUBLISHED SOURCES OF THE JOURNALS
Key sources for journal text shown Bold on date, and author/ editor. Other sources listed predominantly derive from these.
~ Phillips, David Rhys., 1921. Lady Charlotte Guest and the Mabinogion; some notes on the work and its translator, with extracts from her journals. W. Spurrell & Son., Carmarthen.
~ Guest, Charlotte, 1950. ed. Ponsonby, V. B. Bessborough. Lady Charlotte Guest: Extracts from her Journal 1833-1852. John Murray, London.
~ Guest, Charlotte; Earl of Bessborough ed. 1952. Lady Charlotte Schreiber. Extracts from her journal, 1853-1891 With plates. Second volume of the journals which has a few items of interest to Mabinogi studies.
~ Bromwich, Rachel., 1987. Lady Charlotte Guest and the Mabinogion. Trans. of the Hon. Soc. of Cymmrodorion 127–41. Repr. Sullivan 1996. Quotes and most of the commentary from Phillips 1921.
~ White, Donna Rae., 1995. The Crimes of Lady Charlotte Guest. Proc. Harvard Celtic Colloquium 15, 242 –9. Systematically addresses the derogation of Guest’s work.
~ White, Donna Rae., 1997. The Further Crimes of Lady Charlotte Guest. Proc. Harvard Celtic Colloquium 16 -17, 157–166.
~ John, Angela V., 2001. The Lives of Lady Charlotte Guest, in: Maier, Bernhard and Zimmer, Stefan. (Ed.), 150 Jahre “Mabinogion” Deutsch-Walisische Kulturbeziehungen.
~ Johnston, Judith., 2001. Victorian Appropriations: Lady Charlotte Guest Translates The Mabinogion., in: Shippey, Tom, Arnold, Martin (Eds.), Studies in Medievalism: Appropriating the Middle Ages: Scholarship, Politics, Fraud. pp. 145–166.
~ Obey, Erica, 2003. The Wunderkammer of Lady Charlotte Guest (MA). City University of New York, USA. Dissertation.
~ Obey, Erica, 2006. The Wunderkammer of Lady Charlotte Guest. Lehigh University Press, USA. Identifies a common skillset between Guest as translator and researcher, and the later Guest as collector of china, cards and fans.
~ Davies, Sioned, 2004. A Charming Guest: Translating the Mabinogion’. Studia Celtica. 157–178. A superb, article length but highly detailed summary of Guest as the translator of ‘The Mabinogion.’
~ Guest, Revel; and John, Angela V., 2007. Lady Charlotte Guest: An Extraordinary Life. The History Press. Complete life biography, covering all periods of Guest’s life, by her grand daughter in collaboration with a noted modern scholar.