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.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs