This week I spoke about Henry John Hatch and his ‘trials’ at the Queen’s Theatre Club in Hornchurch. It was the ninety-fourth time I have given that talk, and I’ll admit to having felt a little jaded with it.
And then I felt guilty, because Henry’s story needs to be told and retold, to constantly remind ourselves of the power of the human spirit.
When I did the original research for the book, and as Henry’s troubles piled up and up to a point where normal mortals would surely have imploded and gone mad, I realized that this was no ordinary story of courage and steadfastness in adversity.
But the acid test of Henry’s character came in reading a story he, himself, wrote in later life; it was published in a compendium of curiosities, The Paglesham Oyster. Henry was no great storyteller, and his writings are somewhat derivative, but his sympathetic tale – founded on his own experiences as a prison chaplain – of a reformed convict, James Thrayle, demonstrated that after all he had been through, Henry John Hatch retained his basic humanity and love for his fellow man.
Leave a Reply.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs