Wideacre by Philippa Gregory is a novel set in the eighteenth century South Downs; although I am more familiar with her other (earlier) historical novels such as The Other Boleyn Girl and The White Queen. Having said that she apparently has a PhD in eighteenth century literature and so I thought this ought to be an equally good read.
The story's 'heroine' is Beatrice Lacey, a privileged young girl growing up at Wideacre Hall, the ancestral home that she loves but will never have any right to inherit. This injustice becomes an obsession, and as a young woman she is determined to do all in her power to achieve control over the Wideacre estate, leading her to commit a series of horrible crimes, from which no one will be immune. However, her earliest crime is set to haunt her over the subsequent years and will in the end lead to her ultimate downfall.
To be honest, despite the pedigree, I wasn't overly enamoured with this book, although I did persist, perhaps to make sure that Beatrice did indeed get her comeuppance. That's not to say it isn't well written; I just didn't take to the characters, and didn't believe in the story sufficiently.