Diaries of a busy Cornishman


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Preface by Bert Biscoe
First paperback edition
Newly published original journal material
Completely Victorian and surprisingly modern
The diaries of a busy Cornish man of affairs
A prominent Quaker and a warmhearted family man.

Barclay Fox covered a great deal of ground. From his home in Falmouth, Cornwall, he engaged in shipping, fishing, mining, foundry management, farming, railways. He was constantly on the move, on horseback, by carriage and coach and frequently by coastal steamer.

And yet he had time to engage in an intimate and extended family life. Related to other prominent Quaker families, the Fox family settled in Cornwall in the 17th century. Barclay Fox’s diaries offer an energetic and humane account of the early Victorian Fox family members, their business and home lives, their pleasures and their Quaker integrity and their wide and distinguished connections in society, literature and science.

The late Professor R.L. Brett edited the previously unpublished manuscript of Barclay Fox’s diaries. This new edition publishes for the first time the diary entries from the last ten years of Barclay Fox’s life, with a new introduction by Charles Fox. Bert Biscoe provides a Preface setting the new edition in the context of Cornwall then and now.

Bert Biscoe: I am a Cornishman, which is a complex state! Barclay Fox is my kind of Cornishman, engaged in the world, excited by small acts of nature and by human compassion, endlessly challenged with coming to terms with goodness and badness. He was a thoughtful and moral man of action with a strong sense of social justice, compassionate and keenly witted. It is the clarity of Barclay Fox’s moral judgement, and the way in which simple, clear principles inform the multitude of decisions which he shares with us, the unknown reader of his eminently literate Journal, which compel us to read and read, and to return and read again.

As we face the social, economic and cultural challenge of adjusting our society to overcome its addiction to oil, so the perceptions, tenacity, energy, ingenuity and enterprise of Barclay Fox assume a new and meaningful relevance for us. I have come to regard this book as a life companion, not simply because it tells me about my land and my people, but because it entertains in the very best way – by setting out without pretension or artifice, the making of a good honest life by a man who was intelligent, compassionate and witty, in industrious, challenging and inventive times.

Category: History, social history, biography

Publication date: September 2008, Paperback 488 pages 229mm x 152mm (9” x 6”)

RRP: £16.99

ISBN 978-1-904880- 31-8


BUY NOW to purchase ‘Barclay Fox’s Journal’ directly from our partners, Wordery.