Coke of Norfolk (1754-1842): A Biography
Title Details

240 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

15 colour, 9 b/w, 5 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press

Coke of Norfolk (1754-1842): A Biography

by Susanna Wade Martins

  • Description
  • Reviews
First modern biography of Thomas William Coke, first earl of Leicester, who revolutionised agricultural practices and became an outspoken critic of Britain's war against America over independence.
Thomas William Coke ("Coke of Norfolk") (1754-1842) is best known as one of the main promoters of the improved farming of the "Agricultural Revolution". He was also a county MP for over forty years between 1776 and 1832; and the owner of one of the finest palladian mansions in Britain, and by far, the largest estate in Norfolk at Holkham Hall. A friend of Charles James Fox, he moved in the highest Whig social circles and lavishly entertained distinguishedfriends from both political and academic fields who came to Holkham for its splendid library, works of art and antiquities as well as the game coverts. A charismatic figure, he was an outspoken critic of Britain's war against theAmericans in their fight for independence which made him friends who visited and corresponded across the Atlantic.
Despite his importance, both locally and nationally, there has been no full scale biography of him for a hundred years - a gap which this book sets out to address. It sets his agricultural achievements in a wider context, and places Coke himself in his milieu, as one of a small circle of landed grandees who were of major influence duringa period of political turbulence and agricultural change. The author also examines Coke's reputation as a "patriot".

Dr SUSANNA WADE MARTINS is Honorary Research Fellow, School of History, University of East Anglia.
"A revealing biography of one of the eighteenth century's foremost landowners." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW, vol. 128, no. 533, August 2013
"[Coke's] story is well told." HISTORIC GARDENS REVIEW
"Susanna Wade Martin's biography of Sir Thomas Coke does what any good biography should do. It provides a detailed description of his life, his family background, his education and the influences that shaped his politics and his world view." AGRICULTURAL HISTORY REVIEW
"Shortlisted for the 'Biography' category in the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards 2009." .
"Shortlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature 2009." .

Paperback

9781843835318

February 2010

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Title Details

240 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

15 colour, 9 b/w, 5 line illus.

Imprint: Boydell Press