The Bateman”s Visitor’s Book 1902

It was the pleasant custom in many English houses which were used to receive frequent visitors, to record their comings and goings in a special book, usually kept on a table in the hallway.  It didn’t matter who you were, if you were a ‘front door’ visitor (as opposed to a ‘back door’ tradesman), you would be invited to record your visit in the visitor’s book when you left.  At Bateman’s it would seem that, rather than the guest making his/her own entry, Carrie kept the book, making the entries herself.

The Bateman’s visitor’s book is still extant and luckily we have a photocopy transcription made, it is assumed, by the NT curatorial staff..  It has now been further transcribed and annotated, to give us a picture of the Kiplings’ social life at Bateman’s – they had moved in, 6 September 1902, in conditions not unlike those RK later described in the tale ‘The Puzzler’ and their first visitor arrived nine days later