Splendour and Squalor : The Disgrace and Disintegration of Three Aristocratic Dynasties, Paperback

Splendour and Squalor : The Disgrace and Disintegration of Three Aristocratic Dynasties Paperback

3 out of 5 (1 rating)


They were the black sheep of aristocracy and this is their story. From stately homes to the prisons of wartime Britain; from the House of Lords to Edwardian asylums; from the Ritz and the Dorchester to East End dives, Splendour and Squalor tells the fascinating stories of three of Britain's most illustrious aristocratic dynasties and of the black sheep who brought them down.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 416 pages, Black and white plates
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: British & Irish history
  • ISBN: 9781843541257



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I bought and read this book based on an interview with the author on Late Night Live. Its a very well written, and well researched story of the decline of the FitzGeralds, Herveys, and Montagus. And its often very funny. But I was left feeling a bit dirty and squalid myself. Because essentially this is literary tittle tattle. So all of these families had eccentric members who frittered away their inheritances on alcohol, drugs, exhibitionism and general incompetence and stupidity. Its an entertaining story but what business is it of mine? Its their money, why not fritter it away if they want to? I might feel differently if I was a member of the family, but I am not, so what business is it of mine? I felt like a voyeur at a Daily Mail sponsored aristocratic knees up. Ultimately the 4 aristocrats featured were all in need of professional help. They didn't get it, or rejected it and the ensuing chaos is really more of a personal tragedy than entertainment. This is an entertaining book but you may end up, like me, feeling more depressed than titillated