The Dukes of Britain

Arthur Foss, Author St. Martin's Press $24.95 (189p) ISBN 978-0-312-22173-7
Warren's photos, in color and black-and-white, as well as reproductions of period pictures, add visual interest to Foss's text. Describing the British peerage as ""on a slow boat to extinction,'' the author focuses on existing hereditary titles of great wealth and influence. Most exalted are the duchies: the four royal dukes (clearly the noblest) and the dukes of England, Scotland, Great Britain, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Some titles were inherited from William the Conqueror (Cornwall for one); others were earned for helping monarchs attain the throne (Bedford, Devonshire, Argyll), or earned in battle (Wellington). Foss tells how dukes now support themselvesseveral ducal seats, such as Woburn Abbey, are maintained on fees from visitors. The book is packed with British history, but the author assumes a knowledge of institutions and personages that Americans may lack. (August 29)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Nonfiction
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