Troubador A Passion for Records

Released: 28/01/2018

ISBN: 9781788039215

Format: Paperback

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A Passion for Records

Walter Rye (1843-1929), Topographer, Sportsman and Norfolk's Champion


The biography of an enigmatic Victorian pioneer. The first critical appraisal of this sporting legend and antiquary, using his own archives and writings. Important glimpses of everyday Victorian life. Suitable for those with interests in sport, local history, genealogy and record editing.

Walter Rye was a London solicitor until he retired to Norwich, but it was three spare-time passions that earned him his place in the Dictionary of National Biography: physical exercise, record-searching, and a devotion to his ancestral county of Norfolk.

His love of the outdoors was unbounded: athlete, cyclist, sailor and archer, keen amateur gardener and naturalist. Despite this, mortal illness seemed to stalk him, and yet he lived well into his eighties.

In A Passion for Records, Rye’s prolific writings as author, columnist and correspondent, replete with witty put-downs, offer many laugh-out-loud moments. His antiquarian writings invite more serious attention, after cautionary tales about his editorial techniques.

St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill. A Church and its People 1872-2022 (January 2022) has been described by Canon Dr Donald Gray as 'setting the pace for parish histories, without doubt'.

See also the author's Camden History Society lecture, 'New light on St Mary's Primrose Hill', 30 March 2022 on You Tube at

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Christopher Kitching

Dr Christopher Kitching is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. After a career in archives at the Public Record Office and the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts he was appointed CBE in 2004. He is Honorary Archivist of St Mary the Virgin Primrose Hill, London, and a former churchwarden.

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