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"Many a noble lord, paramount in his own county, would be astonished to find that his less distinguished neighbour was of a nobility as ancient as his own." Because of what Sir Anthony Wagner called England’s "extreme social fluidity," some families have risen in prominence while others have sunk; many of the gentry are cadet lines of more noble families, in which the daughters and younger sons have "married down," while the offspring of the middle class have "married up".