This handwritten volume exists because Henry Price, having kept personal financial accounts as a contribution to a Board of Trade study of tradesmen's earnings, decided to set down on record some of the story of his life, "knowing it to be something out of the common".
Most of this book was written in 1904, Price's 79th year. He describes his memories from the age of two, up to a final entry on his 80th birthday. The volume also includes pictures, poems and newspaper articles that he had collected for many years, as well as three letters received in America from friends (1846-1848) and two received later from his father (1851 and 1853). Although Price himself refers to the book as a diary, it is more properly described as both a memoir and a commonplace book.
Price describes many episodes from his life, including his life in America and his struggle to earn a living on his return to England. He records his thoughts and opinions on subjects ranging from poverty to racism and from trade unions to religion. He had a particular interest in the way that the cabinet making trade was organised, including training, apprenticeships and the sweating system of subcontracting and piecework. References to his work for William Morris can be found on p151-153.
The volume also includes the published Board of Trade statistics, as well as Price's handwritten annual accounts for the years 1887-1901. The memoir includes very little coverage of the last three decades of the 19th century, but these accounts provide some information on these years.