The Southwold Diary of James Maggs, 1818-1876

The Southwold Diary of James Maggs, 1818-1876

Edited by Alan Bottomley

Paperback
$29.95

Boydell Press

Overview

Overview

A paperback edition of James Maggs' diaries which vividly evoke daily life in Victorian Suffolk, the fortunes and tragedies of the seafarers and townsfolk of Southwold.
James Maggs (1797-1890) of Southwold, schoolmaster, auctioneer and general factotum, was ideally placed to know practically everything that happened in the little Suffolk port. From 1818 to 1876 he kept a chronicle of local events, recording with scrupulous accuracy the fortunes and (more often) misfortunes of the seafarers, small tradesmen and others who were his fellow townsmen.

`Limping Jem' was both discreet and objective, well trusted and the friend of many. Such however was his innate curiosity and eye for detail, particularly when either the past or present of Southwold and its neighbourhood was involved, that he could not fail to tell us more than was intended both about the place and about the nineteenth century in coastal and rural Suffolk. Maggs compiled, albeit unwittingly, an important social document, serving his own town in prose as effectively as Crabbe with his poetry had preserved the life and spirit of Aldeburgh; and indeed the one complements, confirms and enhances the picture painted by the other.

For twenty-five years the small original edition of the books has been out-of-print and therefore almost totally unavailable. Now the society has commissioned a facsimile reprint in one paperback volume from Boydell & Brewer, confident that it will receive a warm welcome. Geoffrey C. Munn, well known from his appearances on the Antiques Roadshow, drew a good deal on Maggs' diaries when writing Southwold: An Earthly Paradise (2006). He believes that 'Maggs' Diary gives a vivid account of Southwold's lively past, and will be of inestimable value to historians of the future.'

Details

May 2007
17 black and white illustrations
352 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Suffolk Records Society
ISBN: 9781843833277
Format: Paperback
Suffolk Records Society
Boydell Press
BIC HBLL
BISAC HIS037030
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Reviews

"vividly evokes daily life in Victorian Suffolk" SOUTHWOLD GAZETTE (05/10/2007)

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