The Alderney Cow
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The Alderney Cow mentioned in English novels

Whatever the reason for it, this broad use of the name "Alderney Cow" has led to an exaggerated idea of the importance of this island`s breed. The Channel Islands cattle were imported in great numbers to England. They are often mentioned in English novels and descriptions of the countryside ......... [Felicity Crump: The Alderney Cow, 1995]


TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT: Humphry Clinker (1771)

TOBIAS GEORGE SMOLLETT (baptized March 19, 1721, Cardross, Dumbartonshire, Scot.--d. Sept. 17, 1771, near Livorno, Tuscany [Italy]), English satirical novelist, best known for his picaresque novels The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748) and The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle (1751) and his epistolary novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771)

Eighteenth-century English novelist Tobias George Smollett's last novel 'The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker' was published in Jun 1771 just a few months before he died.  It is a series of letters sent home to Bramble-ton Hall, Wales, by the testy, but kind-hearted Matthew Bramble, his attendant sister, his nephew, his niece, and his illiterate maid, from a tour of England including Bath, London, and Edinburgh.

To Mrs. Gwyllim, house-keeper at Brambleton-hall.
Bath, April 26.
I AM astonished, that Dr. Lewis should take upon him to give away Alderney, without my privity and concurrants. What signifies my brother’s order? My brother is little better than noncompush.
He would give away the shirt off his back, and the teeth out of his head; nay, as for that matter, he would have ruinated the family with his ridiculous charities, if it had not been for my four quarters. What between his willfullness and his waste, his trumps and his frenzy, I lead the life of an indented slave.
Alderney gave four gallons a-day, ever since the calf was sent to market. There is so much milk out of my dairy, and the press must stand still: but I won’t loose a cheese paring; and the milk shall be made good, if the sarvents should go without butter. If they must needs have butter, let them make it of sheeps’ milk; but then my wool will suffer for want of grace; so that I must be a loser on all sides. Well, patience is like a stout Welsh poney; it bears a great deal, and trots a great way; but it will tire at the long run.
Before its long, perhaps I may shew Matt. that I was not born to be the household drudge to my dying day. Gwyn rites from Crickhowel, that the price of flannel is fallen three-farthings an ell; and that’s another good penny out of my pocket. When I go to market to sell, my commodity stinks; but when I want to buy the commonest thing, the owner pricks it up under my nose; and it can’t be had for love nor money. I think every thing runs cross at Brambleton-hall. You say the gander has broke the eggs; which is a phinumenon I don’t understand; for when the fox carried off the old goose last year, he took her place, and hatched the eggs, and partected the goslings like a tender parent. Then you tell me the thunder has soured two barrels of beer in the seller. But how the thunder should get there, when the seller was double locked, I can’t comprehend. Howsomever, I won’t have the beer thrown out, till I see it with mine own eyes. Perhaps it will recover. At least it will serve for vinegar to the sarvents. You may leave off the fires in my brother’s chamber and mine, as it is unsartain when we return. I hope, Gwyllim, you ’ll take care there is no waste; and have an eye to the maids, and keep them to their spinning. I think they may go very well without beer in hot weather. It serves only to inflame the blood, and set them agog after the men. Water will make them fair, and keep them cool and tamperit. Don’t forget to put up in the portmantel, that cums with Williams, along with my riding habit, hat, and feather, the vial of purl water, and the tincktur for my stomach; being as how I am much troubled with flutterencies. This is all at present, from

Jane AUSTEN: Emma  (1815)
]The English author Jane Austen lived from 1775 to 1817. Her novels are highly prized not only for their light irony, humor, and depiction of contemporary English country life, but also for their underlying
serious qualities.

Jane Austen is one of the world's most famous authors. She spent most of her life in the historic and beautiful county of Hampshire in the south of England. She loved the county, and it was here that she found the inspiration to write such classics as Pride & Prejudice, Emma and Sense & Sensibility.

Mrs. Goddard, and the teachers, and the girls and the affairs of the school in general, formed naturally a great part of the conversation - and but for her acquaintance with the Martins of Abbey-Mill Farm, it must have been the whole. But the Martins occupied her thoughts a good deal; she had spent two very happy months with them, and now loved to talk of the pleasures of her visit, and describe the many comforts and wonders of the place. Emma encouraged her talkativeness - amused by such a picture of another set of beings, and enjoying the youthful simplicity which could speak with so much exultation of Mrs. Martin's having `two parlours, two very good parlours, indeed; one of them quite as large as Mrs. Goddard's drawing-room; and of her having an upper maid who had lived five-and-twenty years with her; and of their having eight cows, two of them Alderneys, and one a little Welch cow, a very pretty little Welch cow indeed; and of Mrs. Martin's saying as she was so fond of it, it should be called her cow; and of their having a very handsome summer-house in their garden, where some day next year they were all to drink tea: - a very handsome summer-house, large enough to hold a dozen people.'

Mrs.Elizabeth Gaskell: The Illustrated Cranford  (1853)

Gaskell, Elizabeth Cleghorn (Stevenson), 1810–65, English author. In addition to her excellent but controversial Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857), she is known for her novels about social conditions, e.g., Mary Barton (1848), and village life, e.g., Cranford (1853) and Wives and Daughters (1866).

 It was on this subject: An old lady had an Alderney cow, which she looked upon as a daughter. You could not pay the short quarter of an hour call without being told of the wonderful milk or wonderful intelligence of this animal. The whole town knew and kindly regarded Miss Betsy Barker's Alderney; therefore great was the sympathy and regret when, in an unguarded moment, the poor cow tumbled into a lime-pit. She moaned so loudly that she was soon heard and rescued; but meanwhile the poor beast had lost most of her hair, and came out looking naked, cold, and miserable, in a bare skin. Everybody pitied the animal, though a few could not restrain their smiles at her droll appearance. Miss Betsy Barker absolutely cried with sorrow and dismay; and it was said she thought of trying a bath of oil. This remedy, perhaps, was recommended by some one of the number whose advice she asked; but the proposal, if ever it was made, was knocked on the head by Captain Brown's decided "Get her a flannel waistcoat and flannel drawers, ma'am, if you wish to keep her alive. But my advice is, kill the poor creature at once."
Miss Betsy Barker dried her eyes, and thanked the Captain heartily; she set to work, and by-and-by all the town turned out to see the Alderney meekly going to her pasture, clad in dark grey flannel. I have watched her myself many a time. Do you ever see cows dressed in grey flannel in London?

George Eliot: Scenes From Clerical Life (1858)

Mary Ann or Marian Evans (“George Eliot”) (1819-1880).—Novelist

Between four and five o'clock, old Mr Pittman called, and joined her in the garden, where she had been sitting for some time under one of the great apple-trees, thinking how Robert, in his best moods, used to take little Mamsey to look at the cucumbers, or to see the Alderney cow with its calf in the paddock. The tears and sobs had come again at these thoughts; and when Mr Pittman approached her, she was feeling languid and exhausted. But the old gentleman's sight and sensibility were obtuse, and, to Janet's satisfaction, he showed no consciousness that she was in grief. sidst opdateret 14-11-00