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Topham BeauclerkThe Mail on Sunday on 22 January 2017 published a 2-page article by Claudia Joseph: “The not so shy Lady Di: An aristocratic beauty trapped in a loveless marriage whose scandalous affair gripped the nation.” Click here to read the article

The article is based on a chapter of David Noy’s book Dr Johnson’s Friend and Robert Adam’s Client Topham Beauclerk, published in 2016.  And the book includes the 20,000-word dissertation which he wrote for the Biography MA at Buckingham in 2013.

David is a Roman historian, and became interested in the 18th-century book-collector and wit Topham Beauclerk by accident.  He came across a previously unpublished 2nd-century BC Greek inscription on a marble altar in the grounds of Wrest Park, Bedfordshire.  While researching the origins of the altar he gradually found out more about Beauclerk, its previous owner, and discovered that he had been much maligned in nearly everything written about him.  As David wanted to redress the balance but had no previous experience in this type of writing, he enrolled for the Biography MA.  After completing that, he expanded his dissertation into a full-length biography.  He was able to show that Beauclerk commissioned Robert Adam to build a now forgotten house at Muswell Hill, as well as being involved in gambling, politics, the Grand Tour, an outbreak of lice at Blenheim Palace, and of course his love affair with Lady Diana Spencer.