In the year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, eighteen-year-old Reginald Grove left Uppingham School for Cambridge before training at Guy’s Hospital and then taking over his father’s medical practice in Huntingdonshire. As he later reflected ‘I was born in a country practice and destined from my earliest years for a medical career’.
The three-volume biography, based on his diaries and letters from 1881 to 1910, draws also on contemporary accounts of social life in a period of massive change in education, science, medicine, sport, railways, communication, agriculture and religion.
This first volume covers his upbring in a Victorian market town; it paints a charming portrait of family life, his friends, hobbies, reading, holidays on his cousin’s farms, summer days fishing and boating and in the winter skating on the Fens.
Fascinating history - as well as a terrific read….
Lorna Almonds-Windmill, Historian and best-selling author of Special Forces biographies.
The ins and outs, events and controversies, religion and politics, who’s who and what’s happening in the town; it's all told alongside the daily life of the doctor’s family in late Victorian St Ives. But the real pleasure of reading diaries is in getting to know the writer. Reginald’s diaries develop as he becomes a teenager; we see his personality emerging and there are more anecdotes.
Bridget Flanagan, local historian and author of Artists along the Ouse and other publications.
This is a fascinating account of a period of recent British history; a period that feels similar enough to our own to be easily accessible, but different enough to be intriguing. The narrative strikes just the right balance between well-researched descriptions of what life would have been like for Reginald Grove and his family, and personal anecdotes from Groves’ own diaries.
Reginald is an excellent guide to the period, and I very much enjoyed getting to know him!
Andrew Brand, businessman and author.
The diaries on which this trilogy rests allow Peter Flower to open up the fascinating world, at once familiar and remote, of a country doctor in late Victorian England.
Judith Green, Professor Emeritus, School of History Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh and author of The Government of England Under Henry I, and other publications.
Peter Flower read modern history at King’s College, London University and was elected an Associate of Kings College (AKC). He has written a number of articles on 19th century church life for the Journal of the Richmond Local History Society; in one he explored Vincent van Gogh’s life as a teacher and preacher when he lived in Isleworth in 1876.