The Twilight Years of Lady Osler: Letters of a Doctor's Wife

The Twilight Years of Lady Osler: Letters of a Doctor's Wife

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Wagner Jr., Frederick B.


Grace Revere Gross Osler was a true Victorian lady. She exemplified the social graces of her time with their standards of behavior and dress. A Boston society belle, her background included both American and British forebears: Paul Revere the patriot silversmith and Captain Linzee of the royal nave who settled there. She was a natural anglophile. Her lifelong mission was to care for her men and make their lives pleasant. In her twilight years, she felt alone and as useless as these letters show.

All her life she was a prodigious, superb letter writer . . . Dr. Wagner's perceptive selections illustrate the contrast of Lady Osler's formal Victorian style with the informal one in the intimate family letters when she could release her feelings, never expecting they would be retained, much less published. Her capacity to describe details of places, ceremonies, activities, flowers, and people is shown.

The letters tell of increasing loneliness in her older years after the deaths of her son and husband. The accurate, detailed researching, the sensitive selection and editing of the letters by Dr. Wagner make this trying period of a wonderful lady come alive.