This is the story of a Victorian family, whose colourful members have been vividly brought back to life by a descendant, Hew Stevenson. What a crew they were! Backed by dividends from industry, they had the freedom to follow their own stars, becoming architects, explorers, feminists, founders of big game parks, MPs, owners of islands and starters of wars – as well as scallywags and black sheep. We shake each one by the hand and learn his or her story, the result being an intimate, elegantly written chronicle of a stratum of society which the history books rarely penetrate: the affluent, enterprising, unpredictable rentier class which was the backbone of the professions, the Empire and the officers’ mess.

CLIVE ASLET, AUTHOR AND EDITOR AT LARGE, COUNTRY LIFE
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