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Hancox is the Tudor hall house in rural Sussex where Charlotte Moore grew up, and where she lives today. It's a time warp where little has changed since her family took it on in 1888. They were a diverse family of doctors and soldiers, liberal politicians and educational pioneers. What they all had in common though was a habit of writing everything down and never throwing anything away. Every cupboard and every drawer is crammed with relics of family history - letters, diaries, sketchbooks, photograph albums, even old shopping lists and chequebook stubs - which together constitute a huge archive of Victorian and Edwardian family life containing fascinating stories of love and jealousy, heroism and defeat, riches and poverty as well as snapshots of the wider world beyond of Hastings, London and the empire.
Told with a novelist's vigour, Hancox offers a richly detailed portrait of a vanished way of life: an English country house at the turn of the twentieth century, just before the tragedy of the First World War, with its presiding family, its servants, its farm and its local village.
536 pages; ISBN 9780141962375
Duty 2014 US$ 14.99 640 pages