“Tomorrow, Aunt Decca,” said Emma Tennant firmly, “I’ve booked us to go out to the Longstone Lighthouse on a tour boat. It’s only a three-hour trip.” It was, she added, an open boat: “Better put on several good stout jerseys, gumboots, and a mac. It’s likely to be pouring. Usually is up this way.”

In vain I pleaded – “But  why don’t you go , and describe it all to me when you get back. That way  I can write it up and pretend I’d gone, nobody will ever know… ” Absolutely not, said she, getting quite stern. As a  researcher, surely I should knwo that an eyewitness account is de rigueur?  Properly admonishes, I acceded, and, as Emma had predicted , was very glad I had done so.    -Jessica Mitford, Grace Had an English Heart

The first true media celebrity, the aptly named Grace Darling, whose story eclipses our own Ida Lewis of Lime Rock and her many rescues, whose one deed was one so romanticized as to send Victorian girls both running to and from the perils it proclaimed. and we remain in that quandary still.


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