They kept monkeys in West End hotels, and rent-boys in Deauville and Kensington; they used firearms with convincing disregard for their own and others' safety, and drove their Rollses and Bentleys with seemingly suicidal intent. They acquired yachts and helicopters as they shipped the family silver to California and disposed of Old Masters at auction; married frequently and unsatisfactorily, humiliating their wives and withholding from them family secrets of schizophrenia and insanity; sought consolation in ferocious expenditure, alcohol and narcotics, and experimented with burglary, shop-lifting, vagrancy and fraud whilst shrugging off the advice of sane relations. In Splendour & Squalor Marcus Scriven tells the riveting and cautionary tales of Edward Fitzgerald, 7th Duke of Leinster, who died by his own hand having forfeited a 400 million inheritance; Victor Hervey, 6th Marquess of Bristol, playboy, jewel thief, fantasist and fraudster; Angus Montagu, 12th Duke of Manchester, a four-times-married, twenty-stone, one-time inmate of a Federal Correctional Institution who died soon after being crane-lifted out of his two-bedroom flat in Bedford; and of John Hervey - 'John Bristol' - 7th Marquess of Bristol, who turned his estate into 'an adult Disney', equipped with helicopters and heroin....and handcuffs

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