Manus 22: Dietrich, Wilhelmina Louise, “Mimi.” [Diary]. (New Orleans, LA), 1831
Scope and Contents
Title: [Diary of Wilhelmina Louise Dietrich].
Creator: Dietrich, Wilhelmina Louise, “Mimi.”
Place of creation: New Orleans, LA.
Physical description: Paper, 93 leaves ; 17 x 11 cm.
Summary: See extensive description of the contents of the diary housed with the manuscript, which begins:
This Diary is a sort of apologia pro vita sua written by Mimi to her beloved Heinrich, with whom she is living – apparently in sin – in New Orleans. The New Orleans part of the diary covers only about one month, January 1831; it is sandwiched between two sections of the autobiography-cum-mishpokhology [at f. 50ff.].
The summary goes on to detail the rather flamboyant and extraordinary details of a life that prompts its compiler to quote Oscar Wilde’s remark in The Importance of Being Earnest that, “I never travel without a diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.” Note: Text written in dark brown ink in a single small and neat hand, presumably that of “Mimi.” Initial leaf has been roughly excised, as has leaf 86 ; remaining leaves appear intact. Leaf count includes the two excised leaves. Manuscript written on light blue paper and bound in full leather boards with gilt-embellished borders ; spine reinforced with brown paper ; gilt edges ; marbled endpapers. On recto of rear endpaper upside-down signature, “Mimi, New Orleans, Marz (i.e. March), 1831,” and signature of “W[illia]m Kraft,” former owner(?), in left margin. History of Brandeis’s acquisition of the volume unknown ; possibly the gift of Philip D. Sang. Call #: Manus 22
- Creation: 1831