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Poverty Is Relative, by Meriel Buxton

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Jack Ramsden at seven inherited a baronetcy, two estates in Yorkshire and the town of Huddersfield. A brilliant businessman, he doubled his fortune by converting a failed Malayan sugar plantation, taken over to save his sister from bankruptcy, into a hugely successful rubber plantation. Remorseless to those whom he considered had failed him, he was a devoted, if inconsiderate, son, husband, father and grandfather. His greatest pleasure was Ardverikie, his Scottish estate.

His son “Chops”, a delightful man whom everybody loved, exchanged the solid investment of Huddersfield for vast tracts of Kenya. Generous, extravagant and without business training, he faced both World Wars and the 1929 Crash, and in the process allowed most of his father’s fortune to slip through his fingers, but, as his bank manager remarked, “Poverty is relative.” He transformed the gardens of Muncaster, his Cumberland castle, and Bulstrode, his Buckinghamshire mansion, with rhododendrons and showed unshakeable courage when his adored eldest son was murdered and his own health started to fail. 

“A measured and invaluable addition to the corpus of British social history. The author deserves congratulation for the skill and sensitivity displayed in a work deserving a wide readership.” (Professor J.E.Spence)

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