‘Dr Matthew Green is the author of the acclaimed book London: A Travel Guide Through Time which was described by the Londonist as “easily the best social history of London for a decade”. Matthew also writes historical features for the Guardian, Financial Times and Telegraph, has been seen in many TV documentaries and is the founder of Unreal City Audio which produces immersive tours of historic London.
Exquisitely judgmental but chronically shy, fired by ambition yet lacerated by self-doubt, snooty though a quivering jelly in female company, Dudley Ryder, a 23-year old law student from Hackney, was the greatest 18th century diarist you’ve probably never heard of.
Matthew will introduce us to a social chameleon who was always ready to adopt different guises to fit the prevailing mood but who entrusted his ‘true’, darker personality to the leaves of his diary. As the Thames freezes over and lurid reports from the battlefields of the North permeate the city, Matthew and Dudley will be our guides as we explore the dark nooks of Fleet Street, guzzle ale and jig in Hanoverian mug houses, watch beheadings on Tower Hill, skate on the New River and sip “bitter gruel” in smoky coffee houses before retiring to our chambers in the Temple to read Ovid and Quintilian.
Sir Dudley Ryder rose to be Solicitor General, Attorney General and finally Lord Chief Justice (before Lord Mansfield). It is remarkable that his 2,000-page manuscript diary has slipped through the fingers of history. In its evocation of London as probably the most exciting place on earth, it is a brilliant successor to Pepys’s more famous chronicle.’
Date: 14th July 2016, 6.30pm
Location: The London School of Economics and Political Science: 9th Floor, Tower Two (TW2), 2 Clement’s Inn, Mobil Court, London WC2A 2AZ
More information can be found here.