Edited by Jenny Dearlove, Eighteenth Century Life in West Cornwall covers a wide variety of topics researched from primary sources including:
- People, possessions and house in Zennor , based on analysis of 38 inventories;
- The people, occupations and characteristics of the parish of Morvah;
- The life of Edward Giddy, cleric, gentleman, scholar, magistrate and father of Davies Gilbert, researched from Giddy's notebooks;
- Penzance prisons is based upon the reforming writings of philanthropist James Neild published in 1804;
- HM Sloop Fly at Penzance looks at two marriages which took place in the 1740s between members of the Firefly's crew and local girls and the subsequent history of their families;
- Magic and Medicine was researched in various London libraries including the Royal College of Surgeons, Lambeth Palace and the Guildhall. It records a century of change with a growing number of doctors, more skilled surgeons but, unfortunately, few insights into the nature of disease while treatments remained based on the use of herbs, prayers and charms;
- The state of transport in Penwith is examined through the eyes of William Borlase, a frequently critical an somewhat jaundiced commentator on the subject. The diaries and journeys of John Wesley demonstrate that the determined could get around but in general road were very poor and transport was on foot, horseback or, the case of heavy loads, mule back. Wheeled vehicles were few.
- West Cornwall Through Travellers' Eyes is also frequently concerned with transport but also with food, the habits of the people, landscape and mining. The travellers include: Celia Fiennes (1698); Henric Kalmeter (1724), Angerstein (1754), James Heywood (1757); Rev John Swete (1780); James Forbes (1794); John Skinner (1797); Henry Woolacombe (1797).
The book also includes brief notes on Wesley's preaching house at Newlyn, 18th century prices, a brief piece on the Wherry Mine and the text and music of an "ancient duet" entitled the Husbandman and Serving Man.
Eighteenth Century Life in West Cornwall is a mine of information for anyone interested in the subject and meticulous references make it an ideal starting point for further research.