Squire Haggard's Journal was originally inspired by the author's researches in the archives of a provincial newspaper for a series of articles on what was happening 200 years ago. If the result is anything to go by, perhaps it's just as well that times have changed!
The eponymous Squire carouses and wenches his way through the book with reckless disregard for anyone else. Women are, throughout, the targets of his apparently indefatigable amorous intentions, the height of his ambition being to enjoy a shilling whore in London, instead of the usual threepenny variety. He is frustrated because all the shilling girls have been booked for an MP's party! Alone amongst women, it seems, his wife Tib is regarded as a miserable shrew.
Foreigners, poachers, tenants, clerics and dissenters all receive short shrift from the Squire, who treats them all vilely.
You will begin to see that this book was conceived and written before the days of political correctness. Perhaps partly because of this, I found it exceptionally funny. I read the book in a business class cabin on a flight to Dubai, and embarrassed myself on a number of occasions by laughing out loud. The humour is of the schoolboy variety, but the book is well written, with a reasonable plot (how the Squire restores the family fortunes by marrying off his son to a wealthy heiress), and I enjoyed it very much.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who takes being politically correct with any seriousness, unless they are determined to repent and recover a sense of humour, but any schoolboy between the ages of about 12 and 102 should find this a good read.