Genealogy is an often-mentioned theme in the book. One of the characters is a solicitor named Finnamore Balt who marries into the family. In a passage dealing with him, the author writes:
The law it was that allowed him his knowledge of the neighbourhood he lived in, and its people: family histories and family origins filled the mahogany filing-cabinets, filled drawers and desks and forgotten deed boxes. (p. 40)
On page 41 is a phrase that I think describes most of our genealogical blogs and the genealogical carnivals pretty well: Random fruit from an orchid of genealogical trees. I just really liked that line and wanted to share it!
Later in the book there is another mention of the genealogical research at the law office:
There were other people also, the remnants of old families whose genealogy was recorded in the mahogany filing-cabinets of Harbinson and Balt, the children of families that had more lately reached a social height not previously attained. (p. 139)
It's an interesting well-written novel. It's also one that I'm sure that I will need to go back and reread now that I know the outcome so that I can fully appreciate its depth.