Beaufort: The Duke and His Duchess, 1657-1715 - Yale Historical Publications Series (Paperback)Molly McClain (author)
Paperback 298 Pages / Published: 06/03/2012
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In the tumultuous decades which followed the English Civil War an extraordinary aristocratic couple, Henry and Mary Somerset, the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, survived the social upheaval by creating a remarkable political partnership. Together, they worked to restore their family's estates and political power base as well as their home, Badminton House in Gloucestershire. They also sought to tame political and religious passions and to bring order and stability to Restoration society, a goal which was shared by many members of the landed classes. This fascinating book uses their story to illuminate the profound cultural changes which took place after 1660. It also brings to life Henry Somerset (1629-1700) and Mary Capel Somerset (1630-1715), two complex and unique individuals. Henry, third Marquis of Worcester and first Duke of Beaufort, was a powerful regional magnate and an active member of Charles II's Privy Council. The book recounts his activities in public life in England and Wales. It also shows the Duke rebuilding his war-ravaged estates, contesting with his local rivals and corresponding with his wife. Mary, meanwhile, distinguished herself in the newly emerging science of botany by growing and propagating an astonishing variety of exotic plants, and finding personal salvation in the natural world. Offering both an intimate portrait of a seventeenth-century marriage and an unusual view of the early days of Enlightenment science and rationalism, this book will captivate a wide audience of readers. 'Historians have written plenty of biographies of great men of the seventeenth century, but none depicts a married couple on equal terms in the vivid way McClain does.' David Underdown, Yale University 'McClain presents the Duke and Duchess as flesh and blood individuals. One can't help but become engrossed in their lives.' Mark A. Kishlansky, Harvard University Molly McClain is assistant professor in the department of history at the University of San Diego.
Publisher: Yale University Press
Number of pages: 298
Weight: 408 g
Dimensions: 235 x 152 x 16 mm
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