Hardwicke Drummond Rawnsley
An Extraordinary Life 1851-1920
Michael Allen and Rosalind Rawnsley
To order your copy follow this link to the Books Cumbria website.
"The book is a wonderful achievement, comprehensive and authoritive, fascinating and engaging. I marvel at how you have managed to include so much and provide such great detail on a very broad range of subjects.
I found the section about Wray extremely interesting, having grown up a few miles away in Hawkshead. HDR was a very definite presence in the Lakes during the time I lived there in the sixties and seventies. The chapter on 'The Voice of the Lake District' is particularly fine, and explains very well why HDR's Lakes books are so good to read." Andrew F. Wilson
"I found it very easy reading and not wanting to break off as the story unfolded. Your comprehensive and interesting coverage of the context of HDR’s activities provides a very clear picture of how tumultuous much of his life must have been. The now no longer unsung roles of Edith and Eleanor in keeping this potentially runaway train on the tracks, was of immense importance. Without their influence an awful lot of very important things might not have been achieved.
For me HDR is the archetypal activist for and facilitator of good causes. Being, as it were, at the sharp end of campaigns and controversies, he was bound to make some enemies but that should not detract from the sum total of his achievements. HDR’s, arguably pivotal, contribution to the conservation of the Lake District can now be fully recognised. It is up to researchers in other fields, such as education and welfare, to assess the extent of his influence, for which purpose the biography is a good starting point.
To sum up I applaud your achievement in producing this biography, which for quality I would place in the top tier of the genre. It deserves to be read and will I hope eventually achieve a reprint." Maurice George