Brought up amid the lively coaching business Elizabeth Cotton became the wife of a Suffolk tenant farmer 20 years her senior. The diaries she kept between 1854-1869 give accounts of her everyday activities, a busy social life, which included holiday travel around the country and to France, as well as a wide range of current fashions and events. Paramount was her concern for the health and welfare of her husband and family and the education of her children. Blessed with a lively and enquiring mind and a talent for observation - put to good use in her artistic work - she gives details rarely to be found in a text-book. Sheila Hardy has taken this information to expand our knowledge of life for a mid-Victorian middle class woman.