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Tom, Ned and Kitty: An Intimate Portrait of an Irish Family

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Tom, Ned and Kitty: An Intimate Portrait of an Irish Family

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‘I am standing in the dining room of my father’s house in Ireland, gazing up at ten Pakenham family portraits. What thoughts went on behind those passive, chalky faces? How can I bring them out of the shadows?’

Eliza Pakenham, granddaughter of the seventh Earl of Longford, chronicles the fortunes of her colourful ancestors against the backdrop of Napoleonic wars and Irish revolutions.

Through her painstaking research and discovery of hidden records, she unearthed the story of an extraordinary dynasty peppered with intriguing characters: Kitty, Duchess of Wellington, kept apart from her love for over a decade; Tom, second Earl of Longford, who fathered three illegitimate children; and Ned, the darling of the family, a war hero.

Through them we learn of life in times of peace and war, of the pain of bereavement, and rapid changes in politics and society. A vivid and absorbing account of a fascinating generation, brought truthfully to life.

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