26 Apr. 2013: The Diary is launched at Norwich Cathedral
Norwich Cathedral’s refectory was the setting for the launch of The Diary of Mary Hardy on the evening of Friday 26 April 2013.
More than one hundred guests attended. They included the former Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Sir Timothy Colman, one of the 15 descendants of the diarist present that night. Also at the launch were Robert Carter, a serving Deputy Lieutenant, and his wife Charlotte, owners of the Letheringsett estate to which the Hardys had moved in 1781.
Unveiling the books
The four hardbacks comprising The Diary of Mary Hardy were unveiled, together with the paperback The Remaining Diary of Mary Hardy. The full manuscript diaries of Mary Hardy and the family’s apprentice Henry Raven were now on sale in the county in which they had originally been written and where they were printed: the craftsmanship of the printers MPG Biddles of King’s Lynn was greatly admired.
Caroline Holland spoke on behalf of the diarist’s family, still custodians of the manuscripts after nearly 250 years.
Michael Sparkes, volunteer skipper of the wherry Albion, recalled the article he had written for the Norfolk Wherry Trust journal in 1988 which marked the start of the long project to publish the diaries in full. Margaret Bird made the concluding speech as editor of the books.
It was an extremely happy and convivial gathering in beautiful surroundings.