Morrison’s article focuses on the English house in a selection of four English novels. But he acknowledges that other countries have an equal or greater claim to the big-house novel:
It's arguable that Irish country house literature surpasses ours, because the conflicts it dramatises – both political and religious – are on a larger scale.
Black Lake is about one such Irish country house, Dulough in County Donegal. Its history reflects that country’s tragedies: land sold cheaply after the Famine to a Scotsman when Ireland was still part of the British Empire; dispossessed tenants; a questionable involvement with the IRA. In composing a history of his ancestral home, John Campbell moves between pride and shame, fiction and truth, so that he can hardly tell one from the other.