The End

Confessions, Emily Walker's autograph book

This ink drawing, dated 2nd November 1914, forms the final page in a very interesting album which contains autographs, pages where contributors drew a sketch or cartoon and ‘confessed’ their thoughts and opinions.

Each contributor is asked to complete a kind of questionnaire, with questions ranging from ‘Who is your favourite Actor?’ to ‘Are you in favour of ‘Votes for Women’?’. Questions that ask whether ‘you consider yourself to be useful or ornamental?’ sit alongside those that ask whether women should smoke, at what age should a man marry and whether bachelors should be taxed. The album is evidently of its time, featuring some of the great – and not so great – questions of the day.

Not all the pages have been completed, but those that have feature contributions from poet and journalist Joseph Lee, and from Arthur M Watson, JM, MT Scott, DD Stiven, Wm McKenzie and the ‘Terrible Twins’. Most have answered with humour, such as Lee’s response to ‘What is your life’s ambition?’, to which his entry reads, ‘To make contributions to ladies’ albums’. He also penned a sketch of a lady’s head, although it’s not clear if it is a portrait of Evelyn. Other artworks include a tiny, possibly oil, painting of a stag in a winter woodland by Stiven and a cartoon by Watson. ‘The End’ drawing invites the viewer to question what has ended. The facial expressions of the two characters and the discarded rose suggests that the friendship or romance has reached the point of no return.

The ‘Confessions Album’ dates from the First World War and belonged to Evelyn Walker who lived on the Perth Road in Dundee. Martin Fraser, who donated the album, had bought it over 40 years ago in a junk shop because it took his fancy. He then passed it on to the Archive where it is preserved and available for people to enjoy for many years to come.

Ref: MS 360

Images from the collections featuring WW1 material