Regency Women of Character: Diana Sperling

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Diana Sperling (Di to family) was born in 1791 and lived, until her marriage in 1834, with her parents and siblings at Dynes Hall near Halstead (Essex).  Her whimsical, often comical, watercolors depict the lighter side of Regency life and show her obvious affection and humor for her subjects, many of whom were her siblings and friends.

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72 of her watercolors are included in the book Mrs. Hurst Dancing and Other Scenes from Regency Life 1812-1823 (1982-12-03) (click on the book cover to be whisked away to get one of your very own) with Sperling’s own captions explaining the slice of life she has captured.

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The book also includes a forward which gives additional biographical context for Sperling’s work. Wealthy from the fur trade, the family is actively involved in tasks around their estate and seems to relish the provincial life removed from Town.

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Sperling was not a professional artist, but produced a variety of works until her marriage which are still fetching estimable prices at auction today.  She married at the age of 43 to Fred Luard Wollaston of Pimlico and lived until the age of 71.

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