In the book the lives of Ilkley's lords of the manor are discussed in detail. Painstaking detective work has led to the discovery of many portraits of family members, and in total almost 150 illustrations are included.
As well as the steady economic decline of the family, The Road to Ruin includes much about the personal lives of members of the family which was equally dramatic. Ranging from nuns giving away their inheritance to their orders for the benefit of the poor to high-rolling high-living high-spending hedonists Mr Carpenter has dug out the private history of each character.
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