The Reverend Dr Thomas Sedgwick Whalley and the Queen of Bath: A True Story of Georgian England at the Time of Jane Austen by Chris Stephens
Playwright and socialite, toast of William Wilberforce and Marie Antoinette, poet, pamphleteer, traveller and horticulturist, the singular Reverend Doctor Thomas Sedgwick Whalley (1746-1828) lived a life of extravagance, generosity and intellect amongst some of the most influential figures of his day.
In this exhaustively researched work, Professor Stephens uncovers the detail about this unusual, influential and wrongly-forgotten figure.
From the Mendip hills to the fields of Napoleonic France, from the school houses of the poor to the meeting rooms of the Bath literati from the gardens of his mansion to the corridors of ecclesiastical influence, follow Whalley's remarkable journey through the scenes of eighteenth and ninteenth-century Europe.
Uncover the extent of his influence, and discover the passions and affections that shaped this extraordinary gentleman, not least his devotion to his beautiful, vivacious and gifted niece Frances, the Queen of Bath herself.
"A comprehensive, well illustrated and absorbing 'Life' of much more than local interest. A necessary reference book for any student of the period, as well as being a good read in its own right." – Amazon
"The authoritative work on Thomas Sedgwick Whalley and his circle. The research is breath-taking and the story of his fascinating life compellingly told . Essential reading for anyone interested in the eighteenth century." – Amazon
"Admirably thorough and perceptive research gives a very accessible insight to the lives of some interesting people in Georgian England and the factors which shaped their lives." – Amazon
About the Author
Just before retiring in 2002 Professor Chris Stephens OBE became Deputy Chairman of the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain. Through this he was asked by the Woodland Trust if he could assist them in the restoration of the walls of Dolebury Warren Wood in North Somerset. He soon discovered that these had formed part of the boundary of the 1000 acre estate of the Reverend Dr. Thomas Sedgwick Whalley whose ruined 18th century mansion lay close by. The magic of the place and the unravelling of the story of this unusual man over the past 10 years has proved to be a source of great delight and a fascination for Professor Stephens, inspiring his fantastic new book.