The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England

The Verneys: A True Story of Love, War, and Madness in Seventeenth-Century England

by Adrian Tinniswood

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The remarkable story of one English family during the tumultuous seventeenth century, as revealed through their original letters and documents.

"To know the Verneys is to know the seventeenth century," Adrian Tinniswood writes in this brilliant book. The Verney family's centuries-long practice of saving every piece of paper that came into their possession -- amassing some 100,000 pages of family and estate letters and documents -- resulted in the largest and most complete private collection of seventeenth-century correspondence in the Western world to date. They paint an incredibly accurate and detailed picture of life in England, Europe, and even the American colonies, through the everyday lives of one extraordinary family.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101652442
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/06/2008
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 592
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Adrian Tinniswood is the author of His Invention So Fertile: A Life of Christopher Wren and Visions of Power: Ambition and Architecture from Ancient Times to the Present. He is a respected author, lecturer, and broadcaster in Britain and the United States.

Table of Contents

Map of the British Isles     xiii
Verney Family Tree     xiv
Verney Portraits     xviii
Introduction     1
Edmund and Ralph
Francis Turns Turk     15
Venturous Knights     35
Sufficient Intellectuals     57
I Will Provide     79
A Little Fading Honor     95
The Best of Men     118
Fortune's Wheel Is Ever Turning     137
This World Is Full of Changes     157
I Do Not Like the Quarrel     183
Ralph and Mary
A Strange Cruelty     205
Mischief     231
Oh My My Dear Dear     253
Giro d'Italia     273
Mun and Jack
None but Princes     299
Mend Me or End Me     319
Perfect Empress of My Heart     336
All the Physic in the World     355
She Doth Not Rave     379
The Levant Trader     396
Natural Bias     421
Good Husbandry     446
Without Escutcheons     466
He Grows Weary     490
Acknowledgments     511
Notes     513
Bibliography     545
Index     557

What People are Saying About This

Ross King

A wonderful group portrait of an eccentric and ill-starred dynasty. Expertly handling the humorous words and unwise deeds of several generations of Verneys, Adrian Tinniswood breathes life into the turbulent history of an entire century. (Ross King, author of Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling and Brunelleschi's Dome)

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The Verneys 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
lsg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an extremely impressive book. The author made copious use of the letters and other documents from the Verney family, but also supplemented that with extensive research into social aspects of the age. So a story about a no-good son being sent to Jamaica, for instance, is supplemented by a history of the settlement there. A nephew who was hung as a highway robber leads to background information on major crime of the time. Altogether, a very good read. Not light but never boring.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a truly amazing book. It is that most rare of histories that reads like a novel that can't be put down. Mr. Tinniswood has given us a window into a world that has both vanished, and at the same time is so much like our own. One cannot read this book without falling in love with the Verney family - the stalwarts, rogues, crazy old aunts, and all the other characters that make up a big sprawling family. Read and be drawn in to this captivating world.