John Hopton's adult life spanned the years between 1430 and 1478, reputedly one of the most turbulent periods in English history. He, however, neither seems to have been troubled by the 'Wars of the Roses', nor to have displayed those attitudes normally attributed to the upper classes of the time: unflagging self-esteem, brutal ambition, grasping competitiveness. If his vices were not extravagant, his virtues too were unexceptional, those perhaps of a type of country gentleman we usually associate with a later age. Colin Richmond's book is an attempt to place a particular English gentleman in the framework of the world he knew. It opens with the story of this landless Yorkshireman's acquisition of rich properties in Suffolk, and a discussion of those estates themselves, how they were managed and their yield; it continues with a description of John, his remarkable second wife Thomasin, their family, and their life at Blythburgh.