The usual channels for such archaeological details not being available, I have ventured on a plan of my own. The documents and the notes Are submitted for the edification of the curious in such matters; the book itself is an attempt to add something to our historical knowledge.<br><br>But the question will certainly be asked, Why listen to the antiquaries? Why drag before the public the dullest of all dull things - a family history? Still more, why run the risk of being blamed for attaching too much importance to a family in which you have a special interest?<br><br>The reader may be assured that these considerations had to be faced, and he must judge for himself if there has been a sufficient reason for publication. The Introduction will afford him an opportunity. He will perceive that this is a history of a quite unique kind, interwoven with many national events, and of special interest with reference to the English rule in Aquitaine. On this point I have been tempted, in the absence of any existing account whatever of that rule, to go a little - but only a little - beyond the immediate subject, under the hope that attention may be drawn by my sketch to what is imperatively required of English historians in the matter. Elsewhere I hope I have resisted the temptation to ramble off into a set of lectures. But, unless I have managed it very unskilfully, some insight into the past ought to be gathered from these materials out of which I have endeavoured to distil the spirit. Many ancient families, long ago extinct and forgotten, will once more walk the stage. If we fail to extract from their mute lips, as they come and go, all the answers we desire in our eager questionings, they may at least be said, almost too literally, to impersonate 'the abstract and brief chronicles of the time.'<br><br>The reader need not fear that his patience will be tried by the petty details of modern events, such as hundreds of family histories might disclose.