A Dubious Legacy (1992) is a novel written by the British author Mary Wesley. The story takes place in the West Country, England, from 1944 to 1990. It concerns the tragic and bizarre marriage of the Tillotsons and their relationship with two young couples who keep visiting them throughout the years.
While stationed abroad during World War II Henry Tillotson has married a complete stranger at his father's request. When the war is over, and his father has died, Henry brings his bride with him back to his estate, Cotteshaw, in the West Country. The first thing the bride does on their arrival is to give her husband a black eye and without a word march upstairs to her bedroom where she will reside for the best part of the rest of her life.
Two young couples, Antonia and Matthew, and Barbara and James, begin to visit Cotteshaw frequently. Unwilling to admit it, the two young ladies are attracted to the fifteen years older Henry Tillotson, and fascinated and frightene