Since its purchase in 1604 by Thomas Sackville, first Earl of Dorset, the house at Knole, Kent, has been inhabited by thirteen generations of the aristocratic Sackville family. Now owned by the National Trust, Knole is today visited by thousands annually. Here, drawing on a wealth of unpublished letters, archives, and images, the current incumbent of the seat, Robert Sackville-West, paints a vivid and intimate portrait of the vast, labyrinthine house and the relationships his colorful ancestors formed within it. It's a drama in which the house itself is a principal character, its fortunes often mirroring those of the family. Every detail holds a story: the portraits, and all the items the subjects of those portraits left behind, point to pivotal moments in history; all the rooms, and the objects that fill them, are freighted with an emotional significance handed down from generation to generation.--From publisher description.
Plan of Knole -- Family tree -- An ancient pile, 1604-1608 : Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset -- An owl in the desert, 1608-1624 : Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset and his wife, Lady Anne Clifford -- "A poore, unsuccessfull Cavalier," 1624-1652 : Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset -- Restoration, 1652-1677 : Richard Sackville, 5th Earl of Dorset -- The perks of office, 1677-1706 : Charles Sackville, 6th Earl of Dorset -- Folly and sense, 1706-1769 : Lionel Sackville, 1st Duke of Dorset and his sons -- A grand repository, 1769-1799 : John Frederick Sackville, 3rd Duke of Dorset -- "The very name of Sackville, near extinction, 1799-1888 : the dowager duchess and her descendants -- An inheritance in crisis, 1888-1908 : Lionel Sackville-West, 2nd Baron Sackville, and his daughter, Victoria -- A family at war, 1908-1928 : Lionel Sackville-West, 3rd Baron Sackville -- "A disobliging new world," 1928-1946 : Charles Sackville West, 4th Baron Sackville -- Under new ownership, 1946- : Knole and the National Trust
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