Philip Herbert, lush, courtier, and defender of the old laws and habits of England, is a member of King Charles I's court and one in a long line of Earls of Pembroke. The Pembrokes are an important part of society of the time and, in keeping with tradition, a portrait of the family is commissioned from the great painter of the time, Van Dyck. The grandeur and distinction of this group portrait, its assumption of continuity and stability, is the starting point of Adam Nicolson's epic biography of the family. Within seven years of the painting of this portrait, the world it enshrines would collapse and the country would descend into civil war.
The author of critically acclaimed non–fiction, including 'Men of Honour' and 'Power and Glory', Adam Nicolson writes engagingly and eloquently about his subject, bringing to life one of the most unstable periods in British history.