Studies in Peerage and Family Historyby J. Horace Round. Published by Clearfield Company, 200 E. Eager Street, Baltimore MD 21202. 496 pp. Indexed. Paper. 1901, reprinted 1996. $39.95 plus $3.50 p&h.
The author is regarded as the founder of scientific genealogy in England. The largest section of this fine book highlights the controversy that existed at the turn of the century over the subject of the peerage. Called into question is the validity of many of the pedigrees found in Burke's and provided by the College of Arms. The message for modern readers is that all lines need to be verified and documented even when dealing with illustrious families. The problems of errors increases as one moves from the Peerage to the Landed Gentry. I have found errors in Burke's Landed Gentry for one of my own lines.
The rest of the book provides detailed examples of good scientific research into noble families and their connection with history, using as examples the English Hapsburgs, Russels, Spencers, Lord Glamorgan and Earl of Mowbray.
The turn-of-the-century prose makes this a tough read but the scholarship illustrated makes it worthwhile.
Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.3 no.6, 1996