Adrian Tinniswood

The Verneys

A True Story of Love, War and Madness in
Seventeenth-Century England

It was 1608, and the future was looking promising for the Verney family. Over the past 100 years their happy knack of choosing the right wife to marry and the right side to support in any conflict had brought them prosperity and security, and transformed a clan of country squires into influential courtiers and large-scale landowners.

So when the head of the family suddenly sold up, walked out on his teenage wife and moved to Morocco, the Verneys were shaken.

When he turned to piracy and converted to Islam, they were appalled.

And when death ended his short career as a Barbary Coast buccaneer, and his turban and slippers were shipped back to the family manor-house in a tiny Buckinghamshire village, they heaved a sigh of relief and settled back into a quiet life of farming and local politics.

Their troubles had just begun.

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