By David Painting
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Extra info for Amy Dillwyn
She turned to Christ the Redeemer for spiritual comfort and spent much of her time both worshipping and confiding in her Saviour. But her parents were concerned to see that she did not become a complete recluse as a result of her desire to shun the normal pleasures of the world. With some tact they arranged for her to have Italian lessons, and under the guidance of her tutor Signor Pepoli she discovered the delights of reading Dante and Tasso in the original. Emboldened to try another diversion her mother persuaded her to have music lessons with Madam Sainton Dolby, one of the best teachers in London, who soon convinced Amy that her pleasing contralto voice might well improve with dedicated practice.
She persuaded Harry to bring out his saloon pistol, a small calibre revolver, and looked around for a suitable target to fire at. Finding nothing to hand she calmly took off her hat, threw it up in the air, and took turns with Harry to see who could hit it more often. In spite of his disability Harry hit it twice to her once; his honour as a marksman was satisfied and her high spirits were given free rein. While her brother remained at home her life at Hendrefoilan was at least tolerable so that even a sombre family occasion like the death of their Grandmama, old Mary Dillwyn of Sketty Hall, was made more acceptable by the knowledge that she could lighten the awful solemnity by chatting with Harry.
Thereza was now married to Nevil Story Maskelyne, another prominent photographer and astronomer, and the whole family at Penllergaer were avid amateur scientists who were only too glad to encourage cousin Amy to share in their experiments. Knowing her need for distraction and mental exercise they invited her to join them for dinner followed by their own kind of intellectual fun and games. In the evening they all trooped out into the grounds first to try and send up a hot-air balloon which unfortunately caught fire and had to be abandoned, and afterwards took turns to study the heavens from the observatory.