When Arthur Guinness sunk his meager savings into a small brewery on the banks of the River Liffey in Dublin, he could not have foreseen the dynasty of brewers and bankers that would carry on his family name. But Guinness also produced another kind of spirit, an extraordinary line of missionary explorers, clerics, and pioneer social workers.
More famous in his day than his brewing cousins, teetotaler Henry Grattan Guinness forsook his earthly inheritance to preach the gospel to thousands and witnessed true revival. His children and grandchildren ventured to unknown lands, risked disease and death, and fearlessly confronted Western governments about the mistreatment of natives in their colonies. They also introduced social and moral reforms to the poverty-stricken East End of London.
The tension between God and Mammon is a recurrent theme in a family pulled in two directions by earthly wealth and heavenly reward. Spanning two hundred years and five generations of perhaps the most famous family in the world, this history chronicles the Guinness family’s meteoric rise to its bitterest tragedies, its fame and its reversals of fortune.
Michele Guinness, with inside access to diaries, letters, and personal recollections, tells the story of the Guinness family from their inauspicious eighteenth-century beginnings down to the present day.