John Cranch – Uncommon Genius

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The Wolborough Press proudly introduces their newest book–a biography of a fascinating West Country character John Cranch.

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John Cranch was born in Kingsbridge in 1751 and without formal education became a nationally known lawyer, artist, and antiquarian. His book on will-making attacked the Court of Chancery for destroying people’s lives 60 years before Charles Dickens made the same point in Bleak House.

Several of Cranch’s paintings are in important collections such as the Tate, the V&A, and the Louvre as well as the Bristol and Exeter art galleries. He mentored the young John Constable, and Cranch’s belief in painting from nature rather than using classical or religious subjects was highly influential in Constable’s later development.

Cranch was an early pioneer of ‘rescue archaeology’ when he lived in Bath and his collections of Roman artefacts, such as china and coins, formed the basis of the first museum dedicated to Bath’s Roman period.

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John Cranch was closely related to several families which emigrated to America, and he supported their participation in the War of Independence. For example, a first cousin of his took part in the Boston Tea Party. His uncle was the brother-in-law of the second President of the United States, John Adams, and when the Adams family was in Europe, they visited the English West Country and John Cranch accompanied them there.

Cranch was elected to two American learned societies which are still active today. John Cranch never married but was romantically attached to several women and the book describes these relationships.

The book is a high-quality hardback with 41 colour illustrations. It is also available as an eBook. Order the hardback before the end of September 2019 to take advantage of the half-price introductory offer.

For further inquiries regarding this biography of John Cranch, kindly contact the publisher for more details: [email protected]

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