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....

The sadly sparse Visitors’ Book

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The sadly sparse Visitors’ Book


The sadly sparse Visitors’ Book:

For all the money, comfort, the extraordinary inventiveness of Nesfield, all the acres, the flowering lawns, all the servants, the pot plants and grapes brought in from the greenhouses, the mushroom house, the gravelled ways, the palms and cut flowers, the mountains of meat and vegetables in the larder, for all the contacts created by the London Season, the expense, strain and effort of life at Grosvenor Square, nobody wanted to come and stay at Kinmel. HRH was not a loveable or perhaps even a likeable man. The enormous house was never anything like full. The only life it had, the only vitality, deceit, lust and delight, was in the servant’s wing. Its grander bedrooms and corridors remained empty for years at a time. Two of HRH’s daughters, Frances and Horatia, remained single for the rest of their lives, their parents unable to attract any young man into marriage with them. Kinmel, for all its show, was an echoing sham.

See The Gentry, p 336-7