By March 2015 five book reviews had been published of The Diary of Mary Hardy. All are very favourable.
1. 6 March 2015. The latest review in a top academic journal, the English Historical Review, is by G.M. Ditchfield, Emeritus Professor of Eighteenth-Century History at the University of Kent. As well as commenting on the value of the diarist as a source and the insight she gives into rural life and work he has high praise for the editing and for the books’ production standards in this “de luxe edition”. Not only can the cost of the four diary volumes be considered “a real bargain”: Professor Ditchfield has high praise for “their handsome appearance” and “the painstaking thoroughness of the editing”.
2. 21 December 2013. Emeritus Professor Richard G. Wilson is the former Director of the Centre of East Anglian Studies at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and an internationally renowned brewery and business historian. In his detailed review for the Parson Woodforde Society he highlights Mary Hardy’s world as one of struggle, hard work and “constant upheaval”.
3. 8 June 2013. Trevor Heaton is the Books editor of the regional newspaper the Eastern Daily Press. Also a published historian, he describes the new edition of The Diary of Mary Hardy as “A remarkable feat of scholarly dedication”.
4. 17 August 2013. Maggie Vaughan-Lewis is the former Surrey County Archivist and now a Norfolk-based historian. Writing in the Journal of the Aylsham Local History Society she refers to the “Many happy hours engrossed in the five volumes” which readers of Mary Hardy’s diary can enjoy.
5. 25 November 2013. Ken Smith, a former editor of Brewery History, writes in the Journal of the Brewery History Society that “The exploration will be extremely rewarding”.
Feedback from readers
In addition to the reviews there has been a flow of reactions from purchasers of the Diary volumes. You can dip into the feedback under this news item, fourteen months after publication, on the Diary website.
Mary Hardy research wins BALH award 2015
Margaret Bird, editor of the Burnham Press edition of The Diary of Mary Hardy, was judged the overall winner of the British Association for Local History research and publication awards in the ‘long articles’ category. Her article ‘Supplying the beer’ was derived in part from the diaries of Mary Hardy and Henry Raven.