I don’t think there is a better Victorian writer for putting you into the period. This ,like all Surtee’s novels, is short on plot but long on incident. He even apologises in the foreward for the absence of any plot! Yet he makes the age live in our minds, with a cynical description of husband hunting mamas, and their relationship with their daughters. Funny on every page ,but also revelatory. He tells us what is wrong with a certain sort of (lazy) landowner and how to avoid the pitfalls of such, with delightful invented letters and receipts produced regularly for our illumination. Illustrated by John Leech.