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....

A rich man’s flowering lawns

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A rich man’s flowering lawns


A rich man’s flowering lawns:

Some violent bitter man, some powerful man

Called architect and artist in, that they,

Bitter and violent men, might rear in stone

The sweetness that all longed for night and day,

The gentleness none there had ever known;

W. B. Yeats, ‘Ancestral Houses’, Part I of ‘Meditations in Time of Civil War’ (1922), in The Tower, London, 1928