Stags and Serpents: A History of the Cavendish Family and the Dukes of Devonshire (1983)
John Pearson tells the story of a family who have not only been at the centre of English political and cultural life for more than four centuries, but were often remarkable figures in their own right. The dynasty was founded by Bess of Hardwick, who married four times into wealth, and used it to build her own empire and her own monument in that most Tudor of palaces, Hardwick Hall. Since then the Cavendishes have provided men who have been in the front rank of politics, science and the encouragement of the arts.
First publication: 1983 (Macmillan)
FUN FACT: John lived at Chatsworth with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire while writing this book. In February 1983, ex-PM Harold Macmillan marvelled at the 'skill and genius shown in writing the book' and congratulated John in person.
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