Troubador The Clarks of Crofton Hall

Released: 28/05/2022

ISBN: 9781803131702

Format: Paperback

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The Clarks of Crofton Hall

The Rise of a Victorian Family


Lavishly illustrated with images and stunning photographs from private collections and spanning three generations, delve into the history of Thomas Clark and his family…

Rising from obscure beginnings to become a gentleman in the Victorian age dominated by the class system, as a merchant, Thomas was importing exotic produce from around the globe into the City of London. The diaries of his daughter Matilda throw open a window onto the stresses and strains of family life, showing a stereotypical Victorian father (including the bad temper).

Follow his eldest son through his artistic endeavours as a lecturer, writer, poet and artist. There is a shift of perspective on his authoritarian father; here is a devoted family man who adored his wife and spent time with his family. A man dedicated to both science and religion in a world in which he found some new teachings objectionable as an evangelical non-conformist Protestant.

Finally, the life stories of his children unfold, including the author’s grandfather; they were born into privilege but transcended the modern world which saw social change. Moving recollections of lives lived up to the 1950s from children, grandchildren and local residents are revealed.

Read these fascinating tales, including that of the great-uncle who appears to have made an important invention, which played a significant role in winning the Great War – but perhaps someone else ended up claiming the credit?

A fascinating and readable saga of the highest order. 
John Titford MA FSA

Review – The Clarks of Crofton Hall

One of the striking elements about this book is the meticulous research that has gone into producing it. This is not just the story of the rise of this Victorian family, but the author has brought in fascinating historical detail from the time of each generation. If you are interested in country, politics, and general health of the public from 19th Century it adds to this being a captivating and interesting read.

I particularly liked that the Census forms have been evaluated so that we read who was living next door to various family members at certain times. It gives the reader a real sense of time and how families lived.

The story is engaging because your sense of gladness for a situation, can turn to sadness when certain incidents happen so it deftly employs your emotions. The poetry, towards the end, is a nice touch and shows depth of feeling expressed by members of the family, in their own words, from times in their lives.

The book is nicely produced with smooth pages and well-placed illustrations. I recommend it.

by Sharon Marie Loveday

This book is truly excellent. The author writes so well.

I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the Victorian era.

The illustrations are beautiful.

You can feel the warmth the author feels towards her ancestors.

The poetry at the end gave everything a really personal touch.

A phenomenal amount of painstaking research has gone into this book and every minute of it has been worth it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely read another one by the same author.

by Melanie Dolman

Moira Walshe

Moira Walshe has been researching her maternal grandfather's family for 30 years. She became fascinated with them as a child after hearing stories about them from her mother. She has a lifelong passion for history and had always intended to write a book to provide a permanent record of her research. In 2006, she took a short online course with the Open University entitled 'Start Writing Family History'. In 2014, she completed a BA (Hons) degree in Humanities with Art History and Classical Studies following six years of part-time study, again, with the OU.

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