`Gratefull to Providence': The Diary and Accounts of Matthew Flinders, Surgeon, Apothecary and Man-Midwife, 1775-1802
Volume I: 1775-1784
Diaries and account books provide rich evidence for daily life at the time - and the early years of Matthew Flinders, credited with naming Australia.
Matthew Flinders, surgeon and apothecary of Donington, in south Lincolnshire, in the late eighteenth century, was the father of the Matthew Flinders, sailor, navigator and explorer, and one of the central figures in the early history of the Australian nation. His diaries, published here in full for the first time, reveal a wealth of detail about the home, the family and the village in which the future explorer grew up. The daily routine of business, socialising with neighbours, unusual events such as the beaching of a whale near Boston, or the visit to Donington of Mr Powell the famous fire-eater are recorded alongside family joys and sorrows, the births and deaths of children, thepassing of Flinders's beloved wife Susanna and his subsequent remarriage. The childhood and schooling of Matthew junior are a recurring theme, and the purchase of a two volume edition of Robinson Crusoe in 1782 gives a hint of things to come, though as the diaries reveal, his later career was a radical diversion from the original plan for him to follow in his father's path.
"[M]edical historians should find these volumes a valuable quarry for many years to come. They should also provide a goldmine for local and social historians." LINCOLNSHIRE HISTORY & ARCHAEOLOGY
"Surprisingly few sets of practitioners' papers have been printed. Matthew Flinders [...] kept an unusually detailed record of his life and work, and this edition of his manuscript notebooks will be welcomed by all students of the period. [...] The editors have done sterling work in producing a very clear and well structured edition. [...] I expect that Flinders will soon become a regularly discussed character in studies of eighteenth-century medicine." MEDICAL HISTORY
"An excellent transcription of the first of two memorandum and account books." .
"This is an excellently-presented volume with material to interest a wide range of historians. It is clearly laid out and above all it provides a very entertaining insight into the life of an apothecary and gentleman of learning." THE LOCAL HISTORIAN,