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  Title: A Journal of Excursions through the County of Suffolk 1823-44

Author: David Elisha Davy, edited by John Blatchly

Date published: 1982

Status: in print

Price: GBP 25.00

What is it? an edited version of the extensive notes made by David Davy during his exploration of Suffolk's churches over twenty years at the start of the 19th century.

What's it like? we ascended a rather steep hill, on which we travelled thro' very indifferent roads to Flowton; here the kind of country I had anticipated for the whole of the present day's excursion was completely realised. A more flat, wet, unpleasant soil and country I have not often passed over, & we found some difficulty in getting along with safety & comfort. (Flowton)
I have not seen a place of religious worship so utterly neglected as this; it is a great discredit both to the rector and to his parishioners.
(Lackford)

What's good about it? A fascinating account of Davy's progress around the county. He was an antiquarian, and he spent his retirement recording the majority of Suffolk's churches, their monuments and furnishings. In many cases, his visit is the only record we have between the 16th century Reformation and the Victorian restorations. The vast body of pictures he drew and notes he took is still unpublished, and can be found in the British Library. Blatchly has distilled some of the journal notes, and this is a lively and enjoyable volume.

What's bad about it? It is expensive. Some of the entries are annoyingly brief, and one yearns for more of the notes and pictures - of course, this may not be a bad thing if it encourages Boydell to publish them.

Overall rating: 4/5

Buy this book: Amazon.co.uk (UK and Europe), Amazon.com (rest of the world)