I am really looking forward to the next couple of weeks, because it includes a lecture tour to the United States. Starting off with a visit to New York I will be giving a talk to the American Friends of the Georgian Group in Manhattan on February 19 at 7.00 p.m. I will be talking about my ancestor Richard Hall, and taking some of the diaries with me as I talk about his life and times.
After that I then head to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia to take part in a fascinating five-day symposium entitled ‘Hidden Treasures’. It is actually the 71st Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum and it has a great programme, with various visits to colonial buildings (historic homes etc) in Maryland and in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula, and then continuing with the conference itself. I am down to give the keynote speech on the opening day (February 23) but once I have got that out of the way there are all sorts of interesting talks – about furniture and furnishings, about ceramics and the decorative arts, about flint glass and, on February 26, there is a talk by Prof. Amanda Vickery on ‘The Rise of the West End: London, the Season and Shopping’. There are also various workshops and demonstrations and I suspect the main problem will be deciding what to choose and what to leave out. And yes, I feel extremely honoured, and not a little out of place, in such an august gathering. More about the conference can be found here.
It should be great fun and I am hugely grateful to the organizers for making all this possible – my wife is coming with me and naturally her main concern is about what clothes to take as we gather it may be cold and wet!
I cannot help but think that dear old Richard Hall, my great great great great grandfather, would have had a considerable problem coming to terms with the idea that his private diaries would end up opening up so many doors for his future descendant, throughout the world. Actually I think he might have been tickled pink – as am I !