Researchers and academics

The Diary volumes depict eighteenth-century life across a huge canvas. The research student and academic will have a rewarding time as they scan this panorama for their chosen area of study.


A heavy horse: part of the team for ploughing and beer deliveries

The broad range of the diarist’s coverage

The 39 distinct areas of study provided by Mary Hardy cover a very wide range. They include:

  • Pressures on home life, marriage and children
  • Running the household and working alongside the maidservants
  • Road diversions to create private pleasure grounds
  • The long, bureaucratic process of parliamentary enclosure
  • The effect of the long series of harsh winters on arable farming
  • The careful expansion of a vertically integrated rural business
  • The problems of beer distribution in country areas
  • The workings of the excise service, and JP regulation of drink
  • Female help with a village Sunday school in the 1780s
  • Leisure provision, eg by touring players performing in barns
  • The cross-class importance of fairs as family reunions
  • The merchant navy, including the coal trade
  • The civilian response to threats of invasion by the French

The full range of subject areas appears as chapter headings under the individual volume pages of the dedicated website Mary Hardy and her World 1773–1809.

Map of Letheringsett 1834, the compass

Josiah Manning’s  map of Letheringsett 1834. During early-19th-century parliamentary enclosure establishing and mapping boundaries was a constant preoccupation

Supporting the text

As publishers we understand the need for carefully chosen illustrations interwoven with the text. The diary volumes together contain 1300 pictures, most of which have not been published before.

Our pages have sidenotes in the margins, rather than footnotes or endnotes. These notes act as explanatory guides for the reader and provide scholarly references, as illustrated in the sample pages under the heading About us.

Each diary volume in this four-volume edition of the original text has a chronology, glossary, bibliography and well over 100 pages of index.