The Journal of a Georgian Gentleman: The Life and Times of Richard Hall 1729-1801
A Lecture by Author Mike Rendell
The historical value and interest of diaries is not so much in their accounts of great historical events but in their ability to convey the quality – the sights, smells and textures – of everyday life that would otherwise be lost to us.
It is everyday life that abounds in the diaries of Richard Hall, a sometimes pious Baptist silk hosier who kept shop at one end or other of the old London Bridge through much of the late eighteenth century. He recorded what he ate, what he purchased, how he slept and above all what the weather was like in near-obsessive detail. He charts the hurly-burly of family life – he had two marriages and numerous children – his sometimes tumultuous relationship with his church, and his boundless curiousity about almost everything – from astronomy to the latest fashions.
Richard lived between 1729 and 1801 and I am fortunate enough to have his diaries, his account books, his jottings and other bits and pieces.
Author Mike Rendell has enjoyed sifting through the rich treasure trove of his papers to present a portrait of a flawed but thoroughly likeable ‘Georgian gentleman’.
Mike Rendell was born in Bristol and read Law at Southampton University. After graduation he joined a Bristol law firm where he was a partner for thirty years.
He specialized in conveyancing and wrote a weekly legal advice column in the local press, as well as contributing to various journals and publications on legal issues connected with property ownership. He retired in 2003 and he and his wife Philippa now live a nomadic existence which takes them from the edge of Dartmoor in England to the Jalon Valley in Spain.
He is currently working on a novel, to be entitled One London Bridge, about a family living in London in the Georgian era. Mike regards himself as the custodian of a vast array of family papers which have somehow survived through the centuries, and it is his ambition to bring as much of it as possible into the public arena.
He also speaks regularly on 18th century-related topics, both in Spain and in England, to History Societies, Genealogical Groups, Colleges, Women’s Institutes and Probus Groups. He is always looking for new areas where he can share with others his love of all things Georgian.
The Colonial Dames of America
The American Friends of the Georgian Group
Royal Oak Foundation
St. George’s Society of New York
$45 for members of sponsoring societies
$25 for junior members of sponsoring societies
$55 for non-members/guests
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