This large volume purports to contain the 'history of the Seymour family, from early times to within a few years of the present' (the 'present' being 1902). The author begins by explaining that his own name is a version of 'Seymour', hence his personal interest in the research he has undertaken. Sadly, however, his reliance on previous authors (heralds, historians, genealogists) whose works were based on past flawed research, meant that the beginning of this massive opus is as flawed as his sources. The biggest mistake is that he joins together two unrelated families, with a third unrelated to either, which never moved from its French base in Touraine. Now that genealogical study is so much easier with internet access, such errors would (one hopes) be less easy to make - but the book nevertheless represents a fascinating record of painstaking research and study, admirable in itself.
Major Richard Harold St. Maur, DL, MP, JP (1869-1927) natural son of the Earl "Ferdy" St. Maur (1835-1869) and Rosina E. Swan (1849-1873) was an unsuccessful claimant to the Dukedom of Somerset and briefly a Liberal Member of Parliament for Exeter, being unseated on an election petition by a single vote. He was, unquestionably, a brilliant writer and avid researcher.
Our copy is in very nice condition, bound in red cloth with title etc in single-line gilt panels on the spine, and a family crest with the motto 'Foy pour devoir' in gilt on the front. The exterior shows remarkably few signs of wear for its age, with some fading along the spine angles and cover edges, some bumping of corners and shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine, but with no frank damage; the spine is somewhat darkened, and there are light marks on the back cover. Inside, the binding is firm, and there are no loose pages. Pages are rough cut with top edges trimmed. A B/W photo of Queen Jane Seymour forms the frontispiece, and retains its tissue guard (somewhat browned round the edges. The title page is adorned with an oval picture of Charlotte, Duchess of Somerset, and the page is partly detached with a little tearing. The folded family trees are present and undamaged, and an errata slip is bound in with the first, between the preface and the first part of the book itself. There is no foxing, and the pages are clean and bright throughout.