Mary Hardy and her World 1773-1809: four-volume study lodged in the History Centre at Blakeney

The four-volume study Mary Hardy and her World 1773-1809 will be published in April 2020. Two of the covers are pictured here; also the set of four spines.

Drawing on the testimony of the local diarist Mary Hardy (1733-1809), these volumes of commentary and analysis provide a detailed panorama of work and social life in the Letheringsett, Holt, Blakeney and Cley areas and beyond. The author Margaret Bird, an Honorary Research Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London and BAHS member, uses a wide range of local and national sources.

The study will be published on 23 April 2020. The History Centre at Blakeney will have advance copies in March. The full text of Mary Hardy’s diary, published in 2013 and edited by Margaret Bird, is already held at the Centre.

The books are designed for the general reader as well as the specialist. Professor Richard G. Wilson, former Director of the Centre of East Anglian Studies (CEAS), describes them as “Incredibly impressive and most readable . . .; a major historical undertaking and a gold mine for historians“.

They cover 39 distinct topics. These include family life and the home; maidservants; enclosure; farming, malting and brewing; public houses; taxation and the Excise; religion and the parish clergy; Anglican and Methodist preachers; cottage meetings; towns, markets and fairs; trades and professions; the roads, waterways and shipping; indoor and outdoor recreations; politics; and anti-invasion measures.

Family historians will discover material on many dozens of named families; detailed indexes serve as research aids. And particular attention is paid to the role and work of women.

The books are lavishly annotated and illustrated. The content of each volume is given on the website of the publishers, Burnham Press, just click here.

The books are available singly or as a set of four. Click here for details of how to order.

Margaret is giving a talk to the BAHS on 27 October 2020, when the volumes will also be on sale.

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