David Love Introduction

By Iona Scanlan and Elizabeth Rigby

A map of David Love’s birthplace in Fife Scotland. GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Fife | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
URL: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/17330

The memoir of Mr. David Love tells the tale of his adventurous, well-traveled life. The title he provides holds a real significance as it encapsulates every detail of his hectic, busy days. Interestingly, the text was published in print, a rarity for the period in which Love was writing, as many of the memoirs produced during this period were handwritten. His memoir was published as a third edition, indicating his work was of popular demand. Although originally printed fortnightly by subscription, Love’s memoir was priced at a penny per individual copy, which was collected upon delivery. David Love was born in Torryburn, situated close to Edinburgh, to an alcoholic Father, a partially blind mother, and seven siblings. After being left abandoned as an infant by his Father, Love’s mother was forced to lead an impoverished life to survive. Love, being a religious man, blamed his father’s betrayal to the family for his mother’s subsequent visual impairment. For example, he notes at the beginning of the memoir: “she was in darkness and poverty all her life due to my fathers’ misconduct.” (Love, 1823, 13). David Love’s early beginnings in life consisted of living a life on the breadline, unsure of where his next meal was coming from. He felt a duty of care towards his mother, which caused him to mature very quickly. Additionally, his class status as a child was lower class. Before his father left, Love was forced to work in the coal industry as a child laborer, to raise the funds for his father’s drinking habits. Their social class as a family only deteriorated after his father’s departure. Although not affluent to begin with, David Love’s single-parent family meant they often went hungry. A disabled mother and absent father proved an exceptionally difficult circumstance for Love, meaning he had to seek an income and employment from a young age. Women were not expected to work during this time, meaning making ends meet became vital.

“She was in darkness and poverty all her life through my father’s misconduct” (Love, 1823, 3)

David Love went on to marry three times after two of his wives sadly passed away. He and his first wife however faced many hardships due to the lack of money provided by David’s many attempts to write and sell his many forms of literature such as poems and ballads. Love had moments of great success with this career, on one occasion whilst at a fair he sold his work at, Love even wished he had brought 2000 more pieces with him. Along with his passion for writing, Love had other careers throughout his lifetime, fighting for the fencible army, sometimes known as the ‘forgotten army’. Although this job meant a stable income for David and his family, he faced problems with one of his sergeants who seemingly always tried to trap him for small crimes. After he was denied his leave from the army, he was finally deemed unfit to work by the doctor and was discharged. Towards the later years in Love’s life, by chance, he met his father whom he had lost contact with due to his father’s absence. His father shows great repentance for his actions, with David asking him to move to Bristol with him. He refused as he wanted to be buried with his loved ones in Scotland. Love’s father later died on the exact date he predicted, at 93 years old in 1788.

David Love’s memoir is most definitely an intriguing story, showing the tribulations of a working-class man, with a passion for literature and strong love for his family. I find it interesting because it exemplifies how the story of a regular man in the 1700’s can make for a fascinating tale to read in the 21st century.

An image of Mr. David Love from his memoir. Love, David. 1823. The Life, Adventures and Experiences of David Love. Sutton and Son. Nottingham.
https://books.googleusercontent.com/books/content?req=AKW5QaciazbmMCB_v7LHvm2794aRiXYsVaBvSehJoeUHWk_dh8DMl7VLLyhq6f9aH_LxIURrt1FAgL_RszL1p2RF2dO3YzyZXE4hgfl5fLSLtdfhhC_zDHhXtz4pnq68TAC6xhvRnh2ENzwqyXOnMXG95J9LjJyXobX9IFMwgl__wRtARXfX9yRdWmldy4XLqBU3bXKBptXJf0fDO19LIYxss-Ww1vxSOrRmwxHI3qJwHVUIA84HoRkCtYBiKbwXK8q8STys6L7emMmTo30mrVCtdd9_i0oc3TAfY7gYRBmSYiIsgfKA5n0

Bibliography

Love, David. 1823. The Life, Adventures and Experiences of David Love. Sutton and Son. Nottingham.

(Accessed Online 01.02.21) https://books.googleusercontent.com/books/content?req=AKW5QaciazbmMCB_v7LHvm2794aRiXYsVaBvSehJoeUHWk_dh8DMl7VLLyhq6f9aH_LxIURrt1FAgL_RszL1p2RF2dO3YzyZXE4hgfl5fLSLtdfhhC_zDHhXtz4pnq68TAC6xhvRnh2ENzwqyXOnMXG95J9LjJyXobX9IFMwgl__wRtARXfX9yRdWmldy4XLqBU3bXKBptXJf0fDO19LIYxss-Ww1vxSOrRmwxHI3qJwHVUIA84HoRkCtYBiKbwXK8q8STys6L7emMmTo30mrVCtdd9_i0oc3TAfY7gYRBmSYiIsgfKA5n0

Images

GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Fife | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.

URL: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/17330

Love, David. 1823. The Life, Adventures and Experiences of David Love. Sutton and Son. Nottingham.

https://books.googleusercontent.com/books/content?req=AKW5QaciazbmMCB_v7LHvm2794aRiXYsVaBvSehJoeUHWk_dh8DMl7VLLyhq6f9aH_LxIURrt1FAgL_RszL1p2RF2dO3YzyZXE4hgfl5fLSLtdfhhC_zDHhXtz4pnq68TAC6xhvRnh2ENzwqyXOnMXG95J9LjJyXobX9IFMwgl__wRtARXfX9yRdWmldy4XLqBU3bXKBptXJf0fDO19LIYxss-Ww1vxSOrRmwxHI3qJwHVUIA84HoRkCtYBiKbwXK8q8STys6L7emMmTo30mrVCtdd9_i0oc3TAfY7gYRBmSYiIsgfKA5n0

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