The Verneys: Love, War and Madness in Seventeenth-century England

The Verneys: Love, War and Madness in Seventeenth-century England


By (author) Adrian Tinniswood

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 592 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 40mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 27 May 2008
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1844134148
  • ISBN 13: 9781844134144
  • Sales rank: 264,654

Product description

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. In this extraordinary saga, Adrian Tinniswood draws on tens of thousands of letters, which survived by chance in an attic, to reveal the remarkable world of the Verneys, a family of Buckinghamshire gentry in the seventeenth century. Here is Edmund Verney, Charles I's standard bearer at Edgehill, who died still clutching the King's standard, and his children: Ralph, whose support of the Parliamentarian cause during the Civil War forced him into exile; Mun, a professional soldier who survived Cromwell's attack on Drogheda in 1649, only to be stabbed to death two days later; Mall, who fell pregnant out of wedlock, and Bess, who ran off with a clergyman. There was also Henry, who was obsessed with horse-racing; Cary, who gambled away a fortune, and Tom, a devout Christian and a petty crook. The next generation led equally exciting lives. Ralph's son Jack went to Syria and made a fortune. Cousin Pen stayed at home and slept with her sister's fiance. Cousin Dick was hanged at Tyburn. Jack's brother Edmund married a girl who was rich, beautiful and deeply in love with him and within months of the marriage, she lost her mind. The Verneys is narrative history at its very best - fascinating, surprising, enthralling.

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Author information

Adrian Tinniswood is a historian and educationalist. He lectures regularly in Britain and the US, and was for many years consultant to the National Trust on heritage education. He is the author of eleven books of social and architectural history including The Rainborowes, His Invention So Fertile, his acclaimed biography of Sir Christopher Wren and The Verneys, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction.

Review quote

"A marvellous history. Intimate and compelling, it's an exciting tale of adventure on the high seas and a family torn apart by civil war" Daily Mail "A compelling drama of marriage, death, madness and adventure" -- Stella Tillyard Sunday Times "A fascinating and engrossing tale" Sunday Telegraph "Much more than a powerful family saga, full of spectacular rows and tearful makings-up, joyful births and tragic early deaths... A model for how biography and social history can be made to work magnificently together" Financial Times "A wonderfully immediate, intimate portrait of an age" Scotsman