This chapter explores the role of dynastic priorities in shaping the gentry’s
ambitions and striving for reputation in local society. It looks at the ways
in which this shaped their social horizons and sense of kinship, as well as
their competition for status.
This chapter explores the sense of identity associated with a sense of
belonging to the ‘imagined community’ of Cheshire. It also investigates what
it meant to be a country gentleman in this period, how encounters with
London and the world of higher education shaped attitudes, and the various
meanings of ‘Cheshireness’.
The introduction explores the historiography of the county study. It traces
the flowering of the genre in the 1970s and 1980s and describes the new
approaches since then that justify revisiting this approach to understanding
the English civil war. It then explains the approaches adopted in this