The origins of the non-royal dukes in the British peerage divide nicely into Tudor looters, Royal bastards, opportunist generals, territorial, metropolitan or Scottish magnates. Lloyd George said that a duke, fully equipped, cost more than a dreadnought to maintain and with their palaces, possessions and retinues, they are nearly all splendid. Some of them are, of course, now poor; some of them have great wealth; some of them hit every headline and others are obscure. But within each duchy, Brian Masters tells the story of quaint grandees determined to survive.
The Dukes is an essential guide that provides vital biographical information and explores the history of the dukes in unprecedented depth. This revised edition includes new information which was not available on first publication, and brings up to date the accounts of families whose titles have passed to a subsequent generation in the intervening years.