In October 1837 the Honourable Emily Eden, described by James Morris as 'a witty and accomplished Englishwoman in her forty-first year' accompanied her brother, Lord Auckland, Governor-General of India, on an official progress up the country from Calcutta.1 Their journey was a six month epic that began with steamers and barges from Calcutta up the Ganges to Benares, followed by a succession of carriage, palanquin, sedan-chair, horse and elephant rides through Allahabad and Delhi to the hill station. During this progress, on October 30, 1837 to be exact, at dusk, on the banks of the Ganges, alongside some 'picturesque' ruins, with her spaniel Chance on the run, Emily Eden learned of the accession of Queen Victoria to the throne. The news brought a lump to her throat. She wrote back to her sister 'I think the young Queen a charming invention'.2
Whitlock, Gillian, 'A Most Improper Desire': Mary Gaunt's Journey to Jamaica., Kunapipi, 15(3), 1993.