May 2018: The text of the four volumes is nearly complete

Preparing Mary Hardy and her World for publication is getting on well. Almost all the text and editorial annotations are complete. Well over one thousand black-and-white illustrations are chosen and captioned, together with 184 colour plates. The dustjackets are designed, and the eight endpaper maps finished.

At the time The Diary of Mary Hardy was published in April 2013 the text of the four commentary volumes had already been drafted and many of the illustrations identified. It has taken five years to finalise and typeset nearly 2800 pages.

The task of preparing the index will occupy the coming months.

South Walsham dyke

This tree-lined creek in the Fairhaven Gardens with its candelabra primulas leads to South Walsham Inner Broad close to a former working staithe

This is one of the colour plates from volume 4. It shows a dyke (a creek) in the Fairhaven Gardens at South Walsham. The dyke joins the Inner Broad at the point approaching what was in Mary Hardy’s time an open stretch of water leading to Panxworth Staithe.

Like the other staithes or quays around the Broads this was a coaling wharf, with two sizeable sailing vessels called keels berthed there in the 1790s.

The contrast between the busy industrialised riverside of the past and the quiet, shady banks in many parts of the Broads today could not be more stark.