|About the Book|
The Grano diary is one of the treasures of the Bodleian Librarys Rawlinson collection of manuscripts. It was written by a musician who had worked under the direction of George Frederick Handel at the opera house in Londons Haymarket. From 30 May 1728 to 23 September 1729 -- the exact period of the diary -- he was a prisoner for debt in the Marshalsea, that curious institution which gave the pensioned and relatively privileged inmates of the Masters Side a certain freedom to come and go -- and to entertain the friends who were drawn here by sociability, compassion or the desire to test its louche reputation. Within this framework, John Baptist Granos diary becomes a record of social maneuvering, but with the underlying theme of a man trying to salvage his career and reestablish himself in the world outside the prison gate.