Rosemary Hannah has always enjoyed history. The idea for this book came to her when she was mucking out her pigs (it is not a job you want to think about too much). She was in a bad place that day, with her business failed and her mother dead. The idea of researching the life of the third Marquess of Bute (and then writing a book on his life) came to her. It was like getting a gift-wrapped present. It took over sixteen years to do all the research, and it was like reading a real-life soap opera. Of course, there were frustrations. It would have been wonderful if Bute had written more about his relationships with his architects, but, because he spoke to them face-to-face, comparatively little was recorded. All the same, some days in the archives brought such interest and surprises, it was hard not to jump up and down with excitement.