From the New York Times–bestselling writer of The mystery Rooms, the extreme precise tale of the downfall of 1 of England’s wealthiest families

Fans of Downton Abbey now have a go-to source for interesting, real-life tales of the amazing lives led through England’s aristocrats. With the novelistic aptitude and knack for ancient element Catherine Bailey displayed in her New York Times bestseller The mystery Rooms, Black Diamonds presents a page-turning chronicle of the Fitzwilliam coal-mining dynasty and their breathtaking Wentworth property, the biggest deepest domestic in England.

When the 6th Earl Fitzwilliam died in 1902, he left in the back of the second one biggest property in twentieth-century England, worth greater than £3 billion of today’s money—a lifeline to the tens of millions of people that labored both within the family’s coal mines or on their expansive property. The earl additionally left in the back of 4 sons, and the kinfolk line appeared guaranteed. yet used to be it? As Bailey retraces the Fitzwilliam relatives heritage, she uncovers a legacy riddled with sour feuds, scandals (including Peter Fitzwilliam’s ill-fated affair with American heiress Kick Kennedy), and civil unrest because the clash among the coal and its miners got here to a head. once more, Bailey has written an impossible to resist and great narrative background.

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The best Minister, a self-made attorney, was once from a comparatively modest historical past. The aristocratic institution was once the area to which he aspired; he had no specific wish to flip it the other way up. the binds of start, marriage and friendship that certain the category Lloyd George attacked additionally certain the leading Minister. He used to be married to Margot Tennant, the daughter of Sir Charles Tennant, a filthy rich Glasgow chemical producer. Margot’s adolescence have been spent in London’s Mayfair. on the shut of the 19th century, no different stretch of the capital may well boast extra Dukes, Marquesses or Earls. Crystal chandeliers, polished flooring and footmen weren't of Lloyd George’s international. A schoolteacher’s son from a small city in North Wales, he had no ties of start, marriage or friendship to aristocratic society, which he considered as alien to his rules, and which he loathed. years after his Limehouse speech, within the autumn of 1911, staying with King George V, Edward VII’s son, at Balmoral, he informed his spouse, ‘I am now not minimize out for court docket existence. i will be able to see a few of them enjoy it. I loathe it . . . the entire surroundings reeks with Toryism . . . every person very civil to me as they'd be to a perilous wild animal. ’ Asquith used to be not able to lead the send ‘safely into port’. in the summertime of 1909, robust grandees got here out opposed to Lloyd George’s People’s price range as they seemed to guard their very own pursuits. within the first week of August, a lot of them have been accrued at Cowes Regatta, the social spotlight of the summer time. all through that week, the Standart, Tsar Nicholas II’s yacht, and the Victoria and Albert have been moored facet via aspect within the centre of Cowes harbour. They towered over the fleets of lesser, yet no much less remarkable yachts, clustered round them at a deferential distance. They belonged to Europe’s royal households and to individuals of the British aristocracy, who had are available in their 1000's to pay courtroom to the King and the Tsar. the days indexed the names of the boats and their proprietors: Prince Henry of Battenberg’s Sheila, the Empress Eugenie’s Thistle, Lord Ormonde’s Mirage, Lord Arran’s Isa, the Duke of Leeds’s Aries, Lord Brassey’s Sunbeam, have been a couple of between many. Billy Fitzwilliam was once additionally there on his yacht, the Kathleen. Police boats patrolled round the clock to avoid unauthorized craft from coming into the harbour, and a line of battleships guarded its front. ‘This was once the single and simply time I ever observed Tsar Nicholas,’ wrote the Duke of Windsor in retrospect at the occasion. ‘Because of assassination plots . . . the Imperial govt wouldn't threat their little father’s existence in an excellent city, accordingly the assembly used to be set for Cowes at the Isle of Wight, that may be sealed off nearly completely . . . I do take into accout being astonished on the problematic police shield thrown round his each movement . . . ’ in the back of the safety cordons, Cowes used to be en fěte; these with out boats, just like the Duke of Somerset and the Duchess of Manchester, had rented homes for the week. ‘Ashore and afloat’, as one observer recorded, ‘there have been dinner events and balls.

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