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Black Diamonds: The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty Paperback – 6 Mar 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 524 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reprint edition (6 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141019239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141019239
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 3.5 x 13 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 524 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"While this will be an easy sell to Downton Abbey fanatics, this fascinating history is highly recommended to anyone who loves family gossip and mystery." - Library Journal "Gossipy bits...keep the reading lively. The real value of this work is the recounting of the ends of two classes, the lower and the very upper." - Kirkus Reviews "As she did in 2013's "The Secret Rooms," Bailey performed deep research to produce this lucid account. And she did so in spite of the secretive Fitzwilliams' propensity for destruction of their private papers. But despite that major handicap, she draws on remaining documents and numerous interviews with surviving Fitzwilliam relatives and their servants. The result is narrative history of high caliber, written by a woman who knows a good story -- and how to tell it in a manner accessible to the general reader." - The Richmond Times Dispatch "The goingson at Wentworth are inevitably reminiscent of the fictional Downton Abbey now in its fifth season on Masterpiece Theatre, but they are at once grander, more sordid and generally harder-edged... A jolly good read." - The Washington Times "Black Diamonds has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories...wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying." - Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life "Engrossing...Bailey covers a wide canvas with panache" - The Times Literary Supplement "Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read" - The Sunday Telegraph "Brilliant, gripping . . . one heck of a good read and will keep you bolt upright all night" - The Daily Telegraph While this will be an easy sell to Downton Abbey fanatics, this fascinating history is highly recommended to anyone who loves family gossip and mystery. Library Journal Gossipy bits keep the reading lively. The real value of this work is the recounting of the ends of two classes, the lower and the very upper. Kirkus Reviews As she did in 2013 s The Secret Rooms, Bailey performed deep research to produce this lucid account. And she did so in spite of the secretive Fitzwilliams propensity for destruction of their private papers. But despite that major handicap, she draws on remaining documents and numerous interviews with surviving Fitzwilliam relatives and their servants. The result is narrative history of high caliber, written by a woman who knows a good story and how to tell it in a manner accessible to the general reader. The Richmond Times Dispatch The goingson at Wentworth are inevitably reminiscent of the fictional Downton Abbey now in its fifth season on Masterpiece Theatre, but they are at once grander, more sordid and generally harder-edged A jolly good read. The Washington Times Black Diamonds has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying. Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life After Life Engrossing Bailey covers a wide canvas with panache The Times Literary Supplement Extraordinary, fascinating, harrowing. A truly compelling read The Sunday Telegraph Brilliant, gripping . . . one heck of a good read and will keep you bolt upright all night The Daily Telegraph"

About the Author

Catherine Bailey read history at Oxford University. She is a successful, award-winning television producer and director, making a range of critically acclaimed documentary films inspired by her interest in twentieth century history. This is her first book. She lives in West London.

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