This book recreates the overlapping city and country worlds of the Verneys, shows how they interacted, and explores the diverse networks of each. It analyses several generations of the Verneys and a broad range of their acquaintances from every walk of life. It finds changes in their personal attitudes, economic activities, political tactics, and modes of sociability. The importance of the archive of over 100,000 papers lies not merely in its bulk, but in its unusual continuity, literary quality, and capacity to describe fundamental, human concerns. Three basic types of letters are found in the archive: informal to intimates, sociable to friends and acquaintances, and contrived or artificial for patronage purposes.
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