Isabella Brett (1810-1874), 163 Woodbridge Road
In 1860 Isabella Wallis, aged 50, married John Brett, a 58 year old shoemaker. They moved to Woodbridge Road in about 1863. John was a widower with six children, four of whom had left home by the time of the marriage. Three of Isabella's diaries survive, for 1867, 1873 and 1874. They contain a unique record of middle-class life in Ipswich and give intimate insight into the daily life and life-events of this woman.
The diaries record holidays, trips to London, shopping, spring cleaning, illness and financial matters. They recount Isabella's marriage, her relationships with her step-children, her nephew, friends and servants. They are remarkable too as the experiences they describe run contrary to the accepted ideas of Victorian middle-class respectability, family stability, discipline and harmony.
The diaries are kept at the Suffolk Record Office in Ipswich.