The Gentry is a history of England told through its families. This website contains family trees, a few maps and many images illustrating some of the background to the twelve families who carry the story of England in the book.

Read a sample chapter about Sir John Oglander, the 17th-century squire of Nunwell in the Isle of Wight, his life and family, his dreams and ambitions and the tragedies that struck him....

Carlo di Borbone with Penelope Smyth and their daughter

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Carlo di Borbone with Penelope Smyth and their daughter

 

Carlo di Borbone, prince of Capua, (1811-1862) with Penelope Smyth and their daughter Vittoria di Borbone (1838-1905). Penelope, an irish adventuress, had given the corpulent prince two strapping children, Vittoria shown here and and her brother Francesco. When William Hughes, Lord Dinorben, was looking for a suitable girl who might given him a male heir, he lighted on Penelope’s 32-year-old sister Gertrude. Dinorben, who was 72 at the time, was full of hope but it was no good. Gertrude produced two girls.

Photograph by  Adolphe Eugene Disderi (1819-1890)

See The Gentry, p 317