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A Country Parson: James Woodforde's…

A Country Parson: James Woodforde's Diary 1759-1802 (1985)

by James Woodforde

Other authors: Robert Blythe (Introduction), Rosalind Caldecott (Illustrator), James Michie (Editor), John Julius Norwich (Foreword)

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One of the best first hand sources for social history in the late 18th century, this is a famous diary kept for over 20 years by an Anglican clergyman who would be totally obscure without the diary's existence. Although the diary is best known for its notes about the meals Woodforde indulged in, what is really significant is the annual rhythm and rituals of country life, and the sense of isolation from 'news', even though the village he lived in was only a short distance from one of England's more substantial cities. Most editions are in one volume, but there is a five volume set in existence and the Woodforde Society is gradually publishing a complete set of transcriptions. The earlier parts of the diary have interesting glimpses of Oxford college life. ( )
  ponsonby | Aug 9, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Woodfordeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Blythe, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caldecott, RosalindIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Michie, JamesEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Norwich, John JuliusForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Parson Woodforde's Diaries, edited by John Beresford, were first published by OUP in the 1920s as a 5-volume series. In 1935 a single volume condensation was issued covering the whole timespan of the diaries with the title Woodforde : Passages from the five volumes of The Diary of a Country Parson 1758 - 1802 - later changed to The Diary of a Country Parson 1758-1802. This same text was later issued in hardback under the World's Classics label and then in 1978 as an Oxford University Paperback. It has been reprinted many times since then.

In 1985 this new edition was published by Century Press in association with the OUP under the editorship of James Michie, reduced in length "with the intention of making Woodforde much more accessible to today's general reader". This edition was profusely illustrated by artists of the Norwich School and had a brief foreword by John Julius Norwich and an informative introduction by Robert Blythe. The title used was A Country Parson. James Woodforde's Diary 1759-1802.

To complicate matters further another selection of diary entries, edited by David Hughes and illustrated by Ian Stephens has been published by the Folio society.

These three works are sufficiently different to stand apart - please do not combine them.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195204883, Hardcover)

The diaries of Parson James Woodforde (1740-1803) have been a constant source of delight and amusement of thousands of readers since their first publication in a five-volume selection in the 1920s. The Norfolk parson's detailed and acute observations of English country life have ensured him a major place among the country classics of English literature. Ronald Blythe calls Woodforde "one of the most unforgettable characters of English literature."
This new edition of selections from the diaries brings an entirely new dimension to the writings of this quintessentially English clergyman. As well as reprinting the most entertaining and amusing passages, this beautiful, oversized volume is lavishly illustrated with reproductions of paintings, watercolors, and engravings by such atritst as Constable, Cotman, and Crome, who were contemporaries of Parson Woodforde. There are also illustrations of portraits and documents relating to the Woodforde family and their friends as well as drawings of the church, houses, and landscapes the parson knew and decorations representing the country and culinary delights he so loved.
Although the years covered by the diaries saw many momentous international events--the American and French revolutions, for example--Parson Woodforde's central concern was with the details and very distinct flavors of English village life. His gift for capturing those textures will undoubtedly enthrall a new generation of readers.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 14 Feb 2016 13:46:14 -0500)

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