A visit to the archive of the Oberammergau municipality: the archivist fetches a large grey book from the safe. Behind the inconspicuous cover hides a real treasure.
Frances Christina Childe lived with her husband, the priest Edward G. Baldwyn-Childe, from 1880 in the manor house Kyre Park in Worcestershire, England. In the years 1870 and 1900 she visited the Passion Plays Oberammergau and left an impressive testimony of these journeys. On 70 pages she describes and illustrates her experiences.
Frances comes from a distinguished noble family who had been represented in the House of Commons since 1312. Her father, Sir Baldwin Leighton, 7th Baron, was also a politician. Her mother, Mary Parker of Sweeney Hall, probably bequeathed the artistic talent to her daughter. In the National Library of Wales there is a sketchbook of her in which she also portrayed her daughter Frances (http://hdl.handle.net/10107/1256354 and http://hdl.handle.net/10107/1256354).
Text + photos: Jenny Greza
Image rights: Community of Oberammergau Archive