It is one of the more surprising facts about Old England that one can still find families living in the same houses their ancestors built centuries before and on land that has belonged to them since before the Norman Conquest. The Gropes of Grope Hall are one such family....
The Gropes are an old English family based in Northumberland, separated from the rest of society and as eccentric as they come. It is a line dominated by strong-willed and oversexed women, determined to produce more female heirs regardless of whether their desired partners are willing ...
At the dawn of the new millennium, timid and gormless teenager Esmond is abducted and lured to Grope Hall by a descendant of the Gropes. Young Esmond is powerless to escape, and his kidnap sets in motion a stream of farcical events that will have readers laughing out loud.
Tom Sharpe's trademark humour abounds in this new novel, marking him out once again as an outstanding and unique British storyteller.
"A major craftsman in the art of farce...vengeful, chaotic, Swiftian in his tastes, cartoonish in his extremes, and above all wild and amusing" Observer
Tom Sharpe was born in 1928 and educated at Lancing College and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He did his national service in the Marines before moving to South Africa in 1951, where he did social work before teaching in Natal. He had a photographic studio in Pietermaritzburg from 1957 until 1961, and from 1963 to 1972 he was a lecturer in History at the Cambridge College of Arts and Technology.
He is the author of sixteen bestselling novels, including Porterhouse Blue and Blott on the Landscape, which were serialised on television, and Wilt, which was made into a film. In 1986 he was awarded the XXIIIème Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret, and in 2010 he was awarded the inaugural BBK La Risa de Bilbao Prize. Tom Sharpe died in June 2013 at his home in northern Spain