One Fine Day

by Ian Marchant

£12.99

History; Biography

Paperback

9781914613555

Published by September Publishing

Published February 2024

A time-travelling, genealogical adventure, bringing pre-industrial, rural, eighteenth-century England vividly to life on the page.

One day Ian Marchant decided, as all men of a certain age must, to have a dig around his family history. Surprisingly quickly, a web search informed him that his seven-times-great great-grandfather, Thomas Marchant, had left a detailed diary from 1714 to 1728.

Diarist Thom – who liked a drink and a game of cards – feels recognisably Marchant to Ian. With immersive detail we learn about Thom’s family farm and fishponds; about dung, horses and mud; about beer, the wife’s nights out, his own job troubles and their shared worries for their children.

But as Ian digs deeper beyond the Sussex diary’s bucolic portrait he discovers a subtext – a family descended from immigrants, with anti-establishment politics, who are struggling with illness, political instability and cash crises – just as their country does three centuries on.

‘A unique and exhilarating exploration of time and love … elegiac, consistently funny, deeply moving.’

Richard Beard, author of Sad Little Men

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