Miss Agnes Loudon

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X:1 T:Miss Agnes Loudon C:Robert Lowe M:C L:1/16 B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 5 (1844-45, p. 19) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Bb de|d3gfb3 d3edf3|B3cBd3 F3GFd3|e3deg3 fd3{d}c3B|G3c (ed)cB Ac3~c2de| f3gfb3 d3efg3|B3cBd3 F3GFD3|(EG)Be gb3 fd3c3g|f3d (ed)cB F2B2B2|| DE|F3DFB3 GE3c3d|e3dc3B Ac3c2DE|F3DFB3 GE3g3f|e3dc3B FB3B2DE| F3DFB3 GE3c3d|e3dc3B Ac3~c2BA|GE3g3f e2d2c2B2|(AB)cA F3e dB3B2||



MISS AGNES LOUDON. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Miss Agnes Loudon" was composed by Brechin dancing master and musician Robert Lowe, brother of Joseph Lowe, editor of the Lowe's Collection of Reels.... (1844-45). Joseph Lowe was also a dancing master and musician of Inverness and Edinburgh. Robert Lowe also composed a companion reel, "Miss Loudon," printed on the same page in his brother's collection.

There are a few Agnes Loudon's the tune may refer to, but it is fun to speculate that Robert's reel and strathspey referred to Miss Agnes Loudon (b. 1832), who was the precocious only child of Jane Webb Loudon, an English writer of popular manuals on botany and gardening, as well as gothic and early science fiction, and her husband John Claudius Loudon, a Scottish botanist and author. She is said to have been "a pretty, clever girl; sometimes visited, in Edinburgh, the daughters of Robert Chambers, one of whom became Lady Priestley. In London, was early allowed by her widowed mother to take part in the receptions, conversazioni, and parties held at the Loudon home -- social events attended by all the celebrities of the day." She married Markham Spofforth, a barrister and political agent. In 1845, aged about 11, she published her first story, "The Lost Gloves, or We Shall See: A Story for Little Girls." She went on to publish the collections Tales for Young People (1846) and Tales of School Life (1850). She died at age 32[1].

The Gentleman's Magazine of February, 1847, reviewed her first book, written

Tales for Young People (1846), By Agnes Loudon. — Miss Agnes Loudon, the authoress of this clever and pleasing little volume, is, we believe, not more than fourteen years of age, and has certainly exhibited much of that hereditary talent which she derives from both her parents. The book is dedicated, by permission of the Queen, to the Princess Royal, who will, we doubt not, be pleased and instructed by the contents. The volume is divided into two parts, the first of which, consisting of six tales, is entirely written by Miss London. These little fictitious histories are told naturally and pleasingly: but the last — The Dogs' Country Party- has a degree of skillful invention and dramatic cleverness and spirit that would do credit to a writer of far more advanced life, and wider experience of the world, and greater knowledge of the art of composition. We think the present volume holds out great promise of future excellence, and we are delighted to see the honoured name of Loudon carried down in the ranks of literature to another generation.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 5), 1844-45; p. 19.

Recorded sources : - Lismor Recordings, Ron Gonnella - "Scottish Fiddle Master" (1987). Royal Scottish Country Dance Society RSCDS 45, Fiddlers Three Plus Two – "Frae A' The Airts Volume 2" (1992).




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