Tracing the history of the Spencers from their beginnings as medieval sheep farmers, through centuries of service to country and crown to their high public profile following the marriage of Diana Spencer to the Prince of Wales, Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer, has written a superb and engaging work of family history.
Hugely enriched by his unique access to private papers and family memories, it details the lives of such fascinating figures as the romantic, chivalrous Henry Spencer, First Earl of Sunderland; Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, scandalizer and enchantress of eighteenth century high-society; and George Spencer, who, as Father Ignatius, rejected the privileges of his birth to live a life of poverty and chastity as a mendicant monk.
‘A labour of love and a very successful one… The Spencers have been leading actors on the British stage for more than 300 years. Look at every reign from James I onwards and you will find a Spencer in the thick of things. .. The women of the family have their own histories which are every bit as fascinating.’ – Amanda Foreman, Mail on Sunday
‘Charles Spencer is a very good writer… a splendidly enjoyable, elegantly written narrative in which the author brings all his characters to life in a manner that is both at once astute and vivid.’ – Literary Review
‘A warm, entertaining and appropriately personal account of one of the most successful families England has produced.’ -Daily Mail
‘A history of his family which contrives to be always entertaining without descending to the trivial … he writes well, with wit and panache.’ – Daily Telegraph
Charles Spencer was educated at Eton College and obtained his degree in Modern History at Magdalen College, Oxford. He is the author of five books, including the Sunday Times bestseller ‘Blenheim: The Battle for Europe’ (shortlisted for History Book of the Year, National Book Awards), ‘Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I’ and ‘Prince Rupert: The Last Cavalier’.
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