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The Spencers: A Personal History of an English Family
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The Spencers: A Personal History of an English Family

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The history of the Spencer family -- intimately linked with the British monarchy for more than 500 years -- is in many ways the history of England.In this fascinating account, Charles Spencer traces the story of his family from its days as a medieval sheep-farming dynasty to the present. Remarkable characters abound, from Henry Spencer, who gave Charles I the astonishing s ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published September 16th 2000 by St. Martin's Press (first published November 4th 1999)
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3.67  · 
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 ·  144 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Ghost of the Library
Having never been especially fond of the current Earl Spencer i got into this one merely to satisfy a curiosity about Princess Dianas background ...hey no one is perfect!
Well i was certainly in for a treat much to my surprise! honestly I have no idea if indeed the book was written by Earl Spencer or theres a ghost writer lurking somewhere but can't say I give a damm!
So very easy to read, it is written in a very engaging style and i found myself at times almost seeing the earl sitting down to cha
Michael Smith
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The author, brother of the late Princess of Wales, succeeded to the title at his father’s death in 1992. The 9th earl has an Oxford degree in modern history and a refreshingly unprotective attitude toward his own forebears (the probable descendants of Tudor sheep-farmers with no claim to a connection with the Le Despensers of Normandy, whatever family tradition says), among whom were some very iffy characters as well as art patrons, active politicians, and military heroes. Robert, the first Baro ...more
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting canter through 1000 years of the Spencer family history. Not academically challenging in any sense and seemed to get bogged down in unnecessary detail on some family members. There is the making of a good book within this family who have been at the forefront of much of British history however this book is not it.
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
History, Romance, Action and Dare Doing!

Sounds like a great fiction romance novel, but no. This book is well written and researched history of the English Spencer Family from their earliest beginnings up to Princess Diana.

In reading this book, there are heartbreaking romances, political power plays with a few executions, inheritance of vast estates and wealth and the loss thereof to amaze you like no fiction could. This history of a pivotal aristocratic family reveals how it was enmeshed with th
Philip Mann
I know a lot more about a very rich, very influential British family. However, it became heavy reading; it did not grab me like other biographies of families have.
Lady Dixie
Lightweight look at the Spencer family's history.
Donna Peake
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-books-read
It must be amazing to know so much about your family history and to be able to trace it so far back.
Was a bit disappointed there was not more about Diana & Charles growing up.
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
A really enjoyable read. British history through the eyes of the Spencers and their roles within it. Great.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Charles Edward Maurice Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, DL is the second and only surviving son of John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer and the Honourable Frances Roche (later Frances Shand Kydd), daughter of the 4th Baron Fermoy. The youngest of his three older sisters was Diana, Prin