P. A. Rougier Reply to on 6 May 2009
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Text from the back cover . . .
Despite his aristocratic background, Eton, Cambridge and the Royal Engineers, The Hon. Peregrine Vaughan-Uppington is a troubled enigma.
Decorated but denied military promotion, thoughtlessly passed over for appointment as Estate Manager by his noble family, he felt driven to create an unusual surveying practice in Oxford - his imperative to gouge a fiscal future for himself, at the expense of almost everyone else.
"The Surveyors" follows the activities of Lord Peregrine and his staff through seven fast-paced days. Its whimsical humour, beguiling technical solutions and audacious moneymaking yield a heady and entertaining brew.
Text from a publicity 'flyer' (also published as Product Information on amazon.com) . . .
"The Surveyors" chronicles seven consecutive days in a fictional Oxford-based practice dealing with a range of property and construction events. It takes a humorous swipe at the pretentiousness of The Property Profession and some of its more pompous practitioners.
The week's events include, among other things, the negotiation - and manipulation - of a range of technical issues, a court appearance as an Expert witness, flying sequences, a 'lateral thinking' solution to a Conservation Officer problem, an unusual Mediation, and an outré visit to Royal Ascot.
The principal character, The Hon. Peregrine Vaughan-Uppington MA(Cantab) FRICS, is wealthy by his own efforts, decorated, and to every outward appearance a great success. But his 1982 torment at appalling casualties among the sappers of his command in the Falklands - later compounded by wretched distress at his family's humiliating rejection - has never abated; and these things have fuelled a decade of fiscal revenge against hapless third-party litigants.
By the time we meet him, Vaughan-Uppington has achieved notoriety in his field, enjoys huge earnings, and assumes - expects - that he will win. Respected by many and feared by the rest, privately he agonises and perceives himself as a serial failure - his existence shallow and meaningless.
His staff, from widely differing backgrounds, form a "mix and match" team - together they wield an intoxicating blend of psychology, technical wizardry and naked cunning to exploit the week's triumphs and disasters.