> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 9 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182275
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

The Devonshires

The Story of a Family and a Nation

The story of the Devonshires is the story of Britain.

William Cavendish, the father of the first Earl, dissolved monasteries for Henry VIII. Bess, his second wife, was gaoler-companion to Mary Queen of Scots during her long imprisonment in England. Arbella Stuart, their granddaughter, was a heartbeat away from the throne of England and their grandson, the Lord General of the North, fought to save the crown for Charles I.

With the help of previously unpublished material from the Chatsworth archives, The Devonshires reveals how the dynasty made and lost fortunes, fought and fornicated, built great houses, patronised the arts and pioneered the railways, made great scientific discoveries, and, in the end, came to terms with changing times.

  • Pub date: 9 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448182275
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

About the Author

Roy Hattersley

Roy Hattersley was elected to Parliament in 1964. He served in Harold Wilson’s government and in Jim Callaghan’s Cabinet. In 1983 he became deputy leader of the Labour Party. As well as contributing to a host of national newspapers, he has written twenty-five books, including The Edwardians; Borrowed Time: the Story of Britain between the Wars; In Search of England; acclaimed biographies of John Wesley and Lloyd George, and, most recently, The Devonshires. Roy Hattersley has been Visiting Fellow of Harvard’s Institute of Politics and of Nuffield College, Oxford. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Also by Roy Hattersley

See all

Praise for The Devonshires

“A vivid read, crowded with characters and colour”

Lucy Lethbridge, Observer

“Jostling with the eccentric and engaging characters from a grand family, Hattersley deftly tells a jaunty story about Britishness through the ages”

Kathryn Hughes, Mail on Sunday

“A seriously comfortable armchair, a magnificent old duffer of a book that deftly knits together a national story into the fabric of a family drama. It does this with all the warmth and affection for history that mark out a former statesman and a first-class storyteller”

Ian Kelly, The Times

“A balanced look at a traditional tale of aristocratic power and prestige”

Hallie Rubenhold, BBC History Magazine

“This jaunty magnificent book tells the history of Britain just as much as it does of one family”

Daily Express

“Remarkable… The genius of this work is that it serves up a feast of details from a whole dynasty of remarkable men and women”

Jenny Barlow, Daily Express

“An engaging account of a gallery of historical figures”

Noel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph Seven

“Incredibly detailed”

Your Family Tree

“A delightful, beautifully researched book”

Good Book Guide

Related titles