WHICH IS IT TO BE? YOU CHOOSE!
First the reviews: I was delighted to be reviewed in two of the main family history magazines in August, as well as by an online review magazine called e-vue (which I had never heard of, but as they were extremely flattering, who cares that my children assume that I wrote the review myself!)
Lucy Inglis kindly did a review in The Georgian from which I have extracted some of the nice bits and summarised them later on. Mike Paterson at London Historians gave me a most helpful plug,and I am very grateful to both Lucy and Mike. It really helps to have such comments from ‘real historians’ ! Several purchasers have also left appreciative comments on Amazon. Here are some of the reviews:
Brian Clough on eVue: “I loved the book’s illustrations and its elegant colouring and lettering. This fine presentation is an example of a book being as good as its cover. Open up and enjoy….It may prompt you to burrow into your own family archives and do the same…. Author Mike Rendell has done what many have dreamed of doing before him, he has traced his roots and made its history sing.”
Paul Gaskell in Family History Magazine: “Rendell’s sympathetic editing of his ancestor’s words has created a volume that gives a real insight into ordinary life throughout the Eighteenth Century.”
Mike Paterson of London Historians: “The value of this book is that it helps one “live in the clothes” of the mid to late-Eighteenth Century. We get a real sense of what things cost, how people dined and entertained themselves, what were their fears and daily concerns…
These, then, are the brush strokes. The wider canvas of the book gives us much context. We learn, for example, about how the Enclosures Acts affected Hall’s farming interests. We discover how Hall coped with the Gordon Riots of 1780. We are reminded how hostilities with France at the end of Hall’s story caused economic problems – income tax, burgeoning national debt, acute inflation – and was felt most acutely, as usual, by those on the very bottom of the heap.
There is a strong current trend for historical examination of the life of the aspirational middle class. Historians Amanda Vickery and Lucy Worsley have both recently blazed a trail across our screens. Not for them the rich, the famous, the powerful. This is the history of the street, the shop, the office, the family and the home. Mike Rendell’s excellent book makes a noteworthy contribution to building the picture of Georgian middle-class merchant domesticity.
The book is richly illustrated with photos, maps, contemporary illustrations and, of course, facsimiles of pages of Hall’s own writings. It has generous and interesting appendices”.
Lucy Inglis in The Georgian:
“…For all this, Richard comes across as an engaging character and Rendell does a thorough job of pulling out the fine detail of his ancestor’s education, friends, business and marriage.….It is well-produced and pleasingly illustrated, altogether far superior to the usual run of ‘family history’ books. Hall’s story…. does supply a rare glimpse into a self-confessedly ordinary man’s life in the eighteenth century.”
What is clear is that it is the sort of book which will never sell itself – it isn’t going to battle itself into the front row of the display at Waterstones or other main bookstores. In the few cases where I have managed to get stores to stock the tome (“I’m a local author –can I wheedle a favour…’) I was told that merely sticking it on the shelf wasn’t going to get anywhere unless I was able/willing to attend readings etc. My local library at Totnes has kindly agreed to do a local author promotion in December, which is great. I have also given talks (and sold quite a few books on the back of them) both in Spain and in the U.K. I thoroughly enjoy doing the talks and intend to do many more in the months to come. What is obvious is that for every one book I sell online at Amazon there are a dozen I can sell in person after a talk, so I suspect that a lifetime of talks to W.I.’s and U3A’s is beckoning!
But, if you are about to start your Christmas shopping and have no idea what to get Uncle Richard or Great Aunt Edith, here is the easy answer: check out my book on-line and get out the plastic!
For orders from the UK go to Amazon at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Journal-Georgian-Gentleman-Richard-1729-1801/dp/1846245230
For the States go to Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Journal-Georgian-Gentleman-Richard-1729-1801/dp/1846245230/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1297641370&sr=1-1
And for the rest of the world try the Book Depository because they offer free worldwide delivery via: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781846245237/The-Journal-of-a-Georgian-Gentleman?selectCurrency=USD¤cyChange=%3CSPAN%3E%3CEM%3EChange+currency%3C%2FEM%3E%3C%2FSPAN%3E
There are a number of other links to on-line sellers at my website at: http://mikerendell.com
So, thanks for following, thanks for reading my blogs, and if you buy my book – thanks a hundred-fold!