A precious bauble which encloses the story of Henry, Duke of Chandos, and his fabulous, great house and grounds, Canons. Buying Anne from her brutal hostler husband, Henry takes her to Canons, and their love story, marriage and eventual retirement is backgrounded by the encrustation of decor, events, landscaping, the arts and the haut monde of the mid-18th century. Enclosed in the story is the recapitulation of James Sheppard's amazing escape from Newgate and his affair with his paramour Edgworth Bess; the history and background of Canons which Henry's father devised, the part that he played in Handel's life and the accoutrements that made Canons outstanding. Henry is torn between his love for the natural Anne and the accomplished whore, the Hanoverian Marquesa, and when true love wins out and Canons is sold, it is with a joyously larking ending that he and Anne leave. Dukes running downhill, an array of doxies, thieves, writers, scientists, artists, musicians, and a mumble jumble of individual recitatifs, this is mannered and posturing and yet an engagingly elegant pastiche for a first novel.