Reading List

Some of these titles on Ludlow’s history are no longer in print, but your local library should be able to obtain them for you.

Faraday, M. A., Ludlow 1085-1660: A Social, Economic and Political History, Chichester, 1991.
An authoritative and detailed account.

Lloyd, David The Concise History of Ludlow, Ludlow, 1999, reprinted 2005.
Essential reading.

Lloyd, David, The Origins of Ludlow, Logaston, 2008.
A survey of theories and research into the early medieval development of Ludlow.

Lloyd, David, Clark, Margaret and Potter, Chris, St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow: The Parish, Church and People, 1199-2009, Logaston, 2009.
A survey of the history of the church and its role in the religious and social history of Ludlow.

Lloyd, David and Johnson, Karen, Festival Ludlow: Eight centuries of Art, Culture and Entertainment , Logaston, 2009.

Lloyd, David, and Klein, Peter, Ludlow: A Historic Town in Words and Pictures, Chichester, 1984, new edition 2006.
Ludlow as described in eyewitness accounts from medieval times onwards, with contemporary maps and illustrations.

Shoesmith, Ron, and Johnson, Andy, Ludlow Castle: Its History and Buildings, Logaston, 2006.
A detailed examination of the history and architecture of the Castle written by leading authorities.

Trinder, Barrie, and Read, Pat and Christopher, A History of Shropshire, Chichester, 2nd Ed. 1998.
An excellent survey of the history of the county as a whole.

Weyman, H.T. Ludlow in Bye-Gone Days, Ludlow, 1913, reprinted 1966, 1972 and 1986.
An interesting account by one of Ludlow’s earlier historians.

Wright, Thomas, (senior) The History and Antiquities of the Town of Ludlow, Ludlow, 1826, reprinted 1972.
The earliest detailed history of the town. Unreliable in some respects, but useful for its topographical information.

Wright, Thomas, (junior) History of Ludlow, Ludlow, 1852.
An enlarged and updated edition of the previous title.

Books about Ludlow, or those with a Ludlow dimension, are published from time to time and our Reading List will be updated accordingly. This is one of the most recent titles.

A Gilded Cage Lucien Bonaparte Prisoner of War, 1810-14 at Ludlow and Worcester, by Barney Rolfe-Smith, Stonebrook Publishing 2012, 168 pp, black and white and colour illustrations and maps. £15.00 (IBN 978-0-9568972-2-0)

Dinham House, standing as it does in the shadow of Ludlow Castle, is a familiar sight to both residents and visitors. But many are a little perplexed, perhaps, by the sign at the gates explaining that it was once the residence of a certain Lucien Bonaparte! Barney Rolfe-Smith is a member of the Ludlow Historical Research Group, and author of several other well-received titles. His latest book throws a wealth of light on this often neglected episode of local and indeed European history.

He begins with an interesting account of the earlier life of Lucien, younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, and, like the rest of his siblings, somewhat overshadowed by his formidable relative. Friction eventually led to an attempt by Lucien and his family to leave the pleasures of their Italian home, to seek refuge in the United States.

Intercepted by the Royal Navy, Lucien and his family were taken to England, to live a fairly comfortable life in loose confinement – the “gilded cage”, of the book’s title. After giving his parole, Lucien and his family were allowed to lead the lives of English gentry under relaxed supervision, with only minor restrictions on their movements and place of residence.

Their first choice was Dinham House in Ludlow, where the family arrived in December 1810. Lucien played an active part in local society, but as the author clearly describes, quickly became discontented with life in Ludlow, partly because he felt the accommodation at Dinham House to be too small, and also because he felt its location left him too open to public curiosity.

In July 1811, therefore, Lucien and his family moved to the more spacious and secluded environs of Thorngrove near Worcester, where they remained until 1814, when peace with France and the downfall of Napoleon, allowed Lucien to return to Italy.

Barney Rolfe-Smith provides a well-written, authoritative and engaging account of this less well-known, but perhaps most attractive, member of the Bonaparte clan. Besides providing a clear and interesting account of Lucien’s life in Italy and England, including Ludlow, he also tells us something of his subject’s industrious, if perhaps less than entirely impressive, literary endeavours, and of the later lives of his family.

Beautifully illustrated with portraits and with photographs of the locations involved, Barney Rolfe- Smith’s book provides an attractively written and produced account of this rather neglected Bonaparte, and will be of great interest both to local residents and visitors and indeed to all those wishing to delve further into the colourful story of the Bonaparte family.

John Barratt

A Bibliography of Ludlow


David Lloyd was Ludlow’s foremost historian, as the number of entries relating to his work in this bibliography amply demonstrates. David began compiling this bibliography of Ludlow, but it was incomplete at the time of his death in 2009. The bulk of the entries here are those prepared by David, updated and revised by two other members of the Ludlow Historical Research Group, Roy Payne and John Barratt.

The bibliography includes printed material relating to the history of Ludlow. Many of the items listed may be found in the Local Studies Collection in Ludlow Library, others can be obtained via the inter-library loan service. Students of the town’s history should also be aware of the large collections of primary sources held elsewhere, particularly in the Shropshire Archives in Shrewsbury. Some of these, for example items from the earlier archives of Ludlow Town Council, have been transcribed, and are available in the Library.

The bibliography is organised in two sections; a listing under author, followed by a classification under subject headings.

By its very nature, a bibliography of this kind inevitably becomes outdated. It is hoped to produce annual supplements on the Research Group website, containing details of new publications, and indeed any earlier ones which have been omitted.

John Barratt
March 2013

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