Grove House and its extensive estate in Chiswick were owned in the eighteenth century by Humphrey Morice, a not very successful politician and an animal lover. The story of the house has been reconstructed by Carolyn and Peter Hammond who have studied the country home for almost a decade. A wealth of period detail comes from the rare survival of letters written by the head groom to the lord of the house while he was in Italy for his health. They are a window into the daily life on the estate, describing the rather turbulent relationships between the servants in the house and the sometimes exciting events from the outside world. There was an attempted armed robbery, the theft of the walnut crop and the arrival of the Poor Law officers from a neighbouring parish to attempt to force one of the stable lads to pay for an illegitimate child he had apparently fathered... Here is real life in the country house during the period of English history, immortalized by the fiction of Jane Austen.
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