Go to National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa
Volume 42, 1909
– 86 –

Second Meeting: 5th July, 1909.

Professor C. W. Egerton, President, in the chair.

New Member.—C. E. Player, L.R.C.P.

Professor H. S. Dettmann, M.A., delivered a lecture on “The Paston Letters: English Life in the Fifteenth Century.”

The lecturer spoke of a collection of over a thousand documents of the Paston family, which show the state of public and private life in England during the years –1509. With rare freshness and dramatic power these letters present a picture of turbulent brawling which is astounding in its grim and matter-of-fact simplicity. In no relations of life are there traces of delicacy of feeling or of the finer graces.

The lecturer gave extracts of two very romantic love stories, and the prosaic but more amusing adventures of young John Paston in search of a wealthy wife.

In conclusion, the lecturer gave a general account of the impressions to be gathered from the letters, showing that the characteristics exhibited by the Pastons are still to be found in every county in England.