Hat Advisor

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had armed myself with a trio of books by or about Sabine Baring-Gould. I have now set to reading them, and so confident am I that they will furnish much instructive and amusing material that it seems a good idea to dub this postage the inaugural one in what I intend to be Sabine Baring-Gould Week at Hooting Yard.

Let us begin then, with a snippet from William Purcell’s 1957 biography, Onward Christian Soldier:

“Sabine had a warm liking for his tutor. And that he in return was looked upon with affection is surely to some extent shown by the fact that he was asked by Mr Goodwin to choose his wife’s hats. Mrs Goodwin, it seems, had appalling taste. The results of leaving her to dress herself could be shocking in the extreme. Her husband’s pupil was therefore asked, and apparently agreed, not only to accompany the lady in an advisory capacity when she went shopping but also to inspect her before she left the house.

“Mr Goodwin was later made Bishop of Carlisle, a characteristic choice for one of those bishops who, as the century progressed, found themselves faced by forces greater than they were equipped to understand. Who supervised his wife’s choice of hats in Carlisle is not recorded.”

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