This is tremendous work, which provides an important insight into not only the working practices of nineteenth-century local journalism, but also the political, social and cultural life of a lively northern town, as seen through the eyes of a fascinating, very engaged individual who was a member of wide-ranging and influential social, cultural and political networks, which, although focussing on Preston, clearly extended much more widely.
Dr Andrew Jackson
Bishop Grosseteste University
The diaries have been meticulously edited by Andrew Hobbs, who has also written a valuable and informative introduction which emphasises the importance of Hewitson in terms of wider social history […] as Andrew Hobbs highlights, we know next to nothing about how the provincial newspaper businesses functioned, or about the reporters who were, for obvious reasons, fundamental to news-gathering and its presentation. The Hewitson diaries are therefore a crucially important window into that largely closed world […] A particularly revealing aspect of the diaries is the picture which they give of family life […] Beyond that, the diaries give a valuable sense of how a thriving industrial, commercial and administrative centre functioned – the social and business life, the politics and legal affairs of Preston are vividly portrayed. The publication of these diaries (to be followed by a second volume) is to be welcomed […] It is a great achievement, made greater by the remarkable generosity of the publishing arrangements – to make it possible for us to access the text online and free of charge is a truly enlightened decision.
Lancashire Local History Federation Newsletter, vol. 42, 2023.