The Secret Lives of Arthur J. Munby was Bob's moving and entertaining one-man show about the Victorian poet and civil servant Arthur J Munby.
Munby was born in 1828 and trained as a lawyer, a profession which he loathed. He lived all his life in London, and walked about the capital indefatigably, dining with friends and seeking out every new sight - the Underground Railway, the Bank of England, the Albert Hall and the new Embankment. All these experiences come under his attentive and sceptical eye. But he also scrutinised the women of London - the working women, that is - and about them he was anything but sceptical: he was concerned about them and fascinated by them. Finally, he married one of them: Hannah Cullwick, a "maid of all work" from Shropshire; and in the social climate of the late 19th century, they had to keep their marriage secret for 37 years.
Arthur J. Munby was also a poet and, a wonderful diarist. In his diaries he describes his walks around London, his encounters with milkwomen, housemaids and prostitutes, and paints vivid portraits of the writers and painters who made up his circle of friends: Thackeray, Swinburne, Rossetti, Browning, Ruskin and many others.
The show was set in Munby's study as he packed away the evidence of his secret life into the boxes that he later entrusted to the safe-keeping of his old Cambridge College .
Although the finished show was never recorded, Bob made many recordings while he was preparing the script. Click on the player to the right, for a short extract of one of these tapes- (2mins51 / 2.6mB)