Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Aristocrats: Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, 1740-1832 by Stella Tillyard is the biography of four high born sisters. As with many of the books I read, this languidly lay in the TBR for awhile. This one for almost a year, but I have quite forgotten where I read or learned about the books only observing that it seemed well criticised and popular enough for the BBC to make mini series on it. It is a thick history book around 450 pages hardcover and very in depth as it covers the lives of these four women. While I enjoy history immensely, I actually do read that many historical books, and to be honest, many of them are dry. This one was not only well researched, but Tillyard makes the prose feel, at times, as if one is reading a novel rather than a distant historical account. There are many academics who are readable and comprehensive, and there are many who are far from it. Tillyard is not only readable, but her writing is accessible to the public which is why this book is a bit of an oddity being very historical, biographical, and a best seller. As a result, one learns a lot about the lives of people in the UK and Ireland in the 18th century. It is not necessarily a page turner for everyone though, and I really only picked it up because I am interested in history, but you may not be curious if aristocrats, rich dead people, biographies, and English/Irish history are not your things. An interesting read none the less.

(Crossposted from which also has a short review of the mini series).

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