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Diary of a Wombatt

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Morning: Arrived in new home. It is called Essex1. Apparently I am a rarity and much admired.

Afternoon: Slept.

Evening: Ate grass. Scratched.

Night: Ate grass. Slept.

1 Editor's note: This appears to be a reference to the clergyman and fellow of the Royal Society, Mr T-, who was given a wombat that had been brought back to England in the early 19th century. 

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Morning: Slept.

Afternoon: Humans visited me. Was much admired. One1 made sketches of me. Most flattering.

Evening: Ate carrots.

Night: Ate oil paints.
Slept.

1 This is believed to be Sir Z- R-, one of the most highly regarded portrait painters of his time. 

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Morning: Slept.

Afternoon: Received visitor. Human female1. Pretty, smelt nice. She seemed more interested in other human, though.  
Ate reticule.
Slept.

Evening: Ate carrots.
Moved to new lodgings. It is the Season in Town and I am to make my debut. Old human says he is off to visit my cousins. Woman is to go with him2.

Night: Slept. 

1 The circumstances under which Mr T- courted Miss G-, a well-known, if not notorious, gamester, are unclear. But it appears at least once she went to pay her respects to the Wombatt. 

2 This refers to the marriage of Mr T- and Miss G-, and their near-immediate departure for Australia. Mrs T-'s subsequent observations and research were much lauded at the time and she has recently been the subject of a well-regarded biography Epistolatory Mathematickal Flirtations: The Notorious Miss G- and the Learned Mrs T-.

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Morning: Slept.

Afternoon: Slept.

Evening: Attended soiree
Met Biffle1, Lord G- R-2, Miss A-3 (who fed me a carrot) and Madame C-4.
Ate some of Seraphine’s5 heavenly curried puffs. Heard Madame C- enquire as to why Seraphine had not made curried puffs tonight. Seraphine made more curried puffs. Had some more.

Night: Ate rug.
Slept.

1 The 7th Duke of M-

2 The well-known reformer. 

3 Renowned actress of the London stage, in her later years the fashion changed from referring to an actress as a second Siddons, to a second A-.

4 Madame C-'s memoirs has been one of the most exciting discoveries of recent years, giving an intriguing glimpse into the society of her time. It has also comprehensively shattered the arguments of the MacDonaldites, who insisted that Utilitarian philosopher and activist Alexander MacDonald was also the author of several notorious and popular Gothic novels of the period. Take that, Mr Mybug! 

5 Mrs Roberts, author of Home and Away; a survey of English and foreign food, which is still in print. Although some insist that the author could not possibly have intended to make curried pikelets and that this was a printer's error, her curried puffs recipe did not make it into the book. They are believed to be the foundation of the success of biscuit manufacturers Roberts and Cathcart, who closely guard the recipe. 

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Morning: Slept.

Afternoon: Received visitors. Was much admir’d.
Drank some Madeira. Not as good as the Madeira at Madame C-’s. Suspect Sir Z- R- does not know Mr H-’s1 freetrading friends.
Ate canvas.
Ate oilpaints.
Ate turpentine. Not as good as Seraphine’s curried puffs.
Slept.

Evening: I have been BANISHED! My hole has been abruptly relocated outside. This is Not Good Enough and I shall complain with management.

Night: Management not amused by noise. Not yielding.

Slept.

1 Mr H-, a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, was noted at the time for his advancement of obstetrics and his public dissections.

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Morning: Slept.

Afternoon: Was disturbed by young chit arguing with Madame C-. Later was disturbed by Duke of M- proposing marriage to different young woman1.
Slept.

Evening: Ate curried puffs, sent as gift with her compliments by Seraphine. Should like to meet Seraphine and wonder if she would care for a new position as my cook.

Night: Management has much improved my quarters, which are now nice and warm.
Slept.

1 Miss T-, later Duchess of M-, was a noted patron of the arts and founded the M- Art Collection. 

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Morning: Posed for portrait. Delighted to see how many people were anxious to see me immortalised. Madame C- also in portrait, cannot understand why.
Ate draperies.
Slept.

Afternoon: Still popular with portrait crowd, although many have difficulty with their eyesight and appear more focused on Madame C-’s bubbies. Duke and Duchess of M- appeared. Most complimentary about me and portrait.

Evening: Ate carrots. Have heard news that Duchess of M- so taken with me, she has insisted on buying my portrait1. I am quite the hit in Town, and very pleased with my season.
Ate cheese straws.
Slept.

Night: Slept.

1 Antipodean Flora by Sir Z- R- was the foundation of the M- Art Collection. This painting is currently on loan to the National Portrait Gallery for its exhibition Maximised Felicity: Madame C- and her Circle