The distinguished church historian, G. M. Ditchfield, has published a review of my book in the current issue of the Journal of Ecclesiastical History (2013), 64, pp. 652-654. He kindly describes it as an ‘excellent’ example of how family connections can illuminate the broader intellectual and political currents of an age. He has read the book very carefully (and picked up one mistake for which I’ve been kicking myself for a year – it will be corrected in the paperback!). He makes the interesting point that there is no mention of animals. The reason is that I didn’t find any cases of the Clapham children having pets, but it would be fascinating to learn more about their relationships, if any, with cats, dogs, rabbits and caged birds.
Ditchfield suggests that I might have exaggerated the gap between the lively, cheerful and cultivated Claphamites and their narrow-minded, exclusive and anti-Catholic successors. I have a feeling he may be right. The topic needs further exploration