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 ... Show synopsis 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...A brilliantly funny novel about what happens when the women take charge. 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 millenium, 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.