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The Aristocracy - E1of4 - Born to Rule 1875-1914 (29 January 1997)
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the aristocracy were the ruling class in Britain and its Empire. They owned eighty per cent of the country, dominated Parliament and were the social elite in county and London society. But in one generation the landed classes faced agricultural depression and the growth of democracy, coming under devastating political attack from Lloyd George.
Today, according to the 11th Duke of Devonshire, they are a "spent force". From country houses across Britain and Ireland aristocrats recall the political power, wealth and socialising which their ancestors enjoyed. Those recalling the past include the Duke of Devonshire, recounting the story of the eighth Duke, one of the wealthiest and most famous aristocrats of his time, and the lavish costume party thrown to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee; Sir Charles Wolsely, on the ninth baronet and his attempts to restore the family's wealth by marrying an American heiress; Sir Josslyn Gore-Booth, of Lissadell in Sligo, on the family's experiences during the land war in Ireland; and the 7th Marquess of Anglesey, recalling the bizarre antics of his predecessor, the so-called Dancing Marquess.
Transferred from an analogue VHS recording from the original Television broadcast.
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