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The Diary of William Bray: extracts   By: (1736-1832)

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The Diary of William Bray: extracts is a remarkable collection that provides readers with an intriguing glimpse into the life and times of William Bray, a man whose thoughts and experiences transcend time itself. Compiled with meticulous care by an unknown editor, this diary reveals the innermost thoughts of Bray as he navigates the intricate web of his daily existence in the 18th century.

This book takes readers on a captivating journey through the mind of a man who meticulously documented his thoughts and observations. The entries cover a wide range of topics, from his musings on the intricacies of nature to his encounters with notable figures of his time. Bray's acute attention to detail is demonstrated through his vivid descriptions of people, places, and events, painting a vivid and engaging picture of life in the 18th century.

What makes this collection truly exceptional is the raw honesty that permeates Bray's writings. He bares his soul on the pages, offering readers an unfiltered and intimate look into his fears, dreams, and desires. Whether he is ruthlessly self-critical or expressing moments of unadulterated happiness, Bray's words evoke a strong emotional response from the reader.

The diary not only serves as a personal account but also as a historical artifact. Readers are given an extraordinary window into key historical events, such as the American Revolution and the Industrial Revolution, through the eyes of an ordinary man. Bray's reflections on these events, combined with his personal experiences as an individual of his time, provide a unique perspective that cannot be found in textbooks or historical accounts.

However, one notable flaw of this collection is the editor's decision to present only select extracts from Bray's diary. While it may have been done to condense the volume, it leaves readers yearning for a more complete understanding of his life. Some entries seem disjointed, lacking the necessary context to fully appreciate their significance. A more comprehensive compilation would have offered a deeper insight into the complexities of Bray's character.

Despite this minor shortcoming, The Diary of William Bray: extracts is an invaluable resource for history enthusiasts and those curious about the inner workings of the human mind. It serves as a reminder that our thoughts and experiences, no matter how mundane or extraordinary, have the power to resonate with others across generations. Through his diary, Bray transcends time and connects with readers on a deeply human level, reminding us that we are not alone in our triumphs and tribulations.

First Page:


by William Bray

These extracts are printed for the gratification of Mr. Bray's descendants; who will see in them a remarkable instance of a life of sociability and amusement, combined with great and successful industry.

More extracts would have only shewn the same activity and pursuits.


Mr. Bray was born at Shere, on the 15th of November, 1736. He was the youngest of the three sons who survived their father Edward Bray, Esq. George the eldest, who was in the Church, and the second son Edward, who was in the Army, both died unmarried; and, on the death of George the survivor, in 1803, Mr. Bray succeeded to the possession of the Manors of Shere and Gumshall, which had belonged to his ancestors from the reign of Henry the Eighth. When ten years old he was placed at Rugby, where he remained until he was articled to Mr. Martyr, an Attorney of Guildford. In 1761, he was appointed a Clerk of the Board of Green Cloth, at St. James's, through the patronage of Sir John Evelyn. His attendance at the Board did not prevent his practising as an Attorney, and it introduced him to many clients. In 1777, he published a 'Tour in Derbyshire and Yorkshire,' and a second edition of it in 1783. In 1797, he was chosen one of the Council, and a few years afterwards Treasurer, of the Society of Antiquaries, many of his communications to which are printed in the 'Archaeologia... Continue reading book >>

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