Standing directly below the royal family in the social hierarchy of Stuart England, the aristocracy naturally dominated national and local life between 1603 and 1714. Nowadays, members of this prestigious group are best recalled through their hereditary titles, oil portraits, political allegiances, surviving church monuments, and the complicated relationships they cultivated with the ruling sovereign of the day. There is, however, something forever remote about the endless titles, antique paintings, and 350-year-old cathedral effigies.
To truly be acquainted with the Stuart aristocracy, it is necessary to ask questions about their personal, day-to-day experiences: What did they wear to bed? How did they treat their servants? What did they do for fun? In whom did they confide their innermost secrets?In this book, all these questions and many more will be answered. Get to know the Stuart aristocracy on an intimate level by discovering what they ate and drank, how their houses were furnished, what possessions were most important to them, the pastimes they enjoyed, the people they loved, the friends they hated, the outlandish customs they tolerated, and, most fundamentally of all, the everyday lives they led. Although undeniably privileged and distinguished, sometimes eccentrically so, there is an argument to be made that the titled men and women of early modern England are not quite as unfamiliar to modern eyes as they first appear.