The Pakenhams, originally a Norman family from Suffolk, were 'adventurers' in Ireland in the 1640's. By the 1650's the family aquired the large estates of Tullynally in Westmeath. The succeeding generations have bred remarkable men and women. The period 1760 to 1860 was a purple period: distinguished and daring Pakenham admirals and generals fought in all the major theatres of war - the 1798 rebellion in Ireland, the Peninsular War, the American War of 1812, The Napoleonic Wars, and the Crimea; a daughter, Kitty Pakenham, married Lord Wellington. Correspondence with the famous men and women of the day gives fresh insight into scandal and dramas and an understanding of the political foment of the period.
Thomas Pakenham is the author and photographer of the bestselling REMARKABLE TREES OF THE WORLD and MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE TREES, and author of the critically acclaimed SCRAMBLE FOR AFRICA, which won the W.H. Smith award and the Alan Paton Award. Eliza Pakenham read English at Oxford, was an editor in publishing and is now a writer and journalist. She is married with three children.