One hundred years of a Victorian Nottinghamshire family.
At the height of the late Victorian era, John Patricius (Patrick) Chaworth-Musters is born, heir to a wealthy landowning and mining dynasty. World’s away, Mary Anne Sharpe is born into a family of Bedfordshire straw plaiters.
Mary Anne joined the Chaworth-Musters as a junior maid in 1881. Less than two years later, Patrick (aged 23) gets 20 year old Mary Anne pregnant. His parents fail to part them so send them to live in Norway, unwed, but away from “polite society”. Four years and four children later, Patrick unexpectedly inherits the family’s estate and returns to England. Contrary to convention, he marries Mary Anne, legitismising their children. She reluctantly takes on the role as “lady of the manor” having to manage the servants she had so recently reported to.
This is a Victorian story of love, duty and sacrifice, which within 100 years, leaves the dynasty shattered and the family’s welath drained. 281pp