By the author of the acclaimed The Rise and Fall of the British Empire comes a “grand tour of the lives and impact of this truly remarkable breed.” (The Washington Times)
Aristocracy means “rule by the best.” For nine hundred years, the British aristocracy has considered itself ideally qualified to rule others, make laws, and guide the fortunes of the nation. Tracing the history of this remarkable supremacy, Aristocrats is a story of civil wars, conquests, intrigue, chicanery, and extremes of both selflessness and greed.
Lawrence James also illuminates how the aristocracy’s infatuation with classical art has forged English heritage, how its love of sport has shaped its pastimes and values, and how its scandals have entertained the public.
Impeccably researched, balanced, and brilliantly entertaining, Aristocrats is an enthralling history of power, influence, and an extraordinary knack for survival.