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With the help of previously unpublished material from the Chatsworth archives, The Devonshires reveals how the dynasty made and lost fortunes, fought and fornicated, built great houses, patronised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.
Praise for The Devonshires
A vivid read, crowded with characters and colourLucy Lethbridge, Observer
Jostling with the eccentric and engaging characters from a grand family, Hattersley deftly tells a jaunty story about Britishness through the agesKathryn 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 storytellerIan Kelly, The Times
A balanced look at a traditional tale of aristocratic power and prestigeHallie Rubenhold, BBC History Magazine
This jaunty magnificent book tells the history of Britain just as much as it does of one familyDaily Express
Remarkable… The genius of this work is that it serves up a feast of details from a whole dynasty of remarkable men and womenJenny Barlow, Daily Express
An engaging account of a gallery of historical figuresNoel Malcolm, Sunday Telegraph Seven
Incredibly detailedYour Family Tree
A delightful, beautifully researched bookGood Book Guide