Aristocrats Power, Grace, and Decadence: Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present

Lawrence James

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

448 Pages


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For nine hundred years, the British aristocracy has considered itself ideally qualified to rule others, make laws, and guide the fortunes of the nation. Impeccably researched, Aristocrats is a history of the British elite's civil wars, its conquests, and its actions of both selflessness and greed. Lawrence James illuminates how the aristocracy's infatuation with classical art has forged British heritage, how its love of sport has shaped British pastimes and values, and how its scandals have entertained the public.


Praise for Aristocrats

"[A] great, sweeping survey of the ups and downs of the British aristocracy."—The Wall Street Journal

"Anyone who indulges in modern interpretations of Tudor courts or relishes details of British historical undercurrents should enjoy James's take on the power behind the British throne."—Publishers Weekly

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  • Lawrence James

  • Lawrence James was born in Bath, England, and was educated at York University and Merton College, Oxford. After a distinguished teaching career he emerged as one of the outstanding narrative historians of this generation. He lives in St. Andrews, Scotland.