Margaret Bird is the editor of the complete text of The Diary of Mary Hardy 1773-1809, published in four volumes in 2013. She is also author of the four companion volumes Mary Hardy and her World which are close to completion. These tell us about the background to Mary Hardy's portrait of rural working life, and paint a wide panorama of local society.
She has been working on this massive project without a break since 1988. Until now little was known about the prolific 18th-century diarist who at times gives unique coverage of events around her. During this long task Margaret has been buoyed by the way the public have responded to the books already published.
Margaret has been an honorary research fellow in the History department of Royal Holloway, University of London since 2006. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Born in central London in 1946, she read Modern History at St Anne's College, Oxford and gained her master's at Royal Holloway. She and her husband Tony have lived in Kingston upon Thames since 1970.
Above all Margaret likes to communicate her huge enthusiasm for history: in articles, talks, seminars and also in the way she presents her findings on the page. She writes for the general reader as well as the researcher and other historians. Almost every page has a picture, with a long caption. Editorial notes on the page itself - and not in endnotes - are essential elements of her style, together with solid indexes.
Her aim is to make the past come alive by creating books that will give lasting delight.
Margaret has loved history all her life. Boating on the Norfolk Broads with her family has been another lifelong passion - in the very part of the country where Mary Hardy wrote her diary.