Inheritance: The tragedy of Mary Davies: Property & madness in eighteenth-century London
'Brilliant' Financial Times
'Hollis expertly weaves together the human tragedy and high politics behind the explosion of one of the world's greatest cities' Dan Snow
The reclaimed history of a woman whose tragic life tells a story of madness, forced marriages and how the super-rich came to own London
June 1701, and a young widow wakes in a Paris hotel to find a man in her bed. Within hours they are married. Yet three weeks later, the bride flees to London and swears that she had never agreed to the wedding. So begins one of the most intriguing stories of madness, tragic passion and the curse of inheritance.
Inheritance charts the forgotten life of Mary Davies and the fate of the land that she inherited as a baby - land that would become the squares, wide streets and elegant homes of Mayfair, Belgravia, Kensington and Pimlico. From child brides and mad heiresses to religious controversy and shady dealing, the drama culminated in a court case that determined not just the state of Mary's legacy but the future of London itself.
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