Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vicarious Living: The English Country House


Who doesn't wonder what it would be like to live in a grand English country house?  In his latest book, The English Country House, James Peill explores ten great British estates, all of which are still in the hands of descendants of the original owners.  As Julian Fellows notes in the foreword, "A house that has never been sold tells a complete and unbroken story in a way that is virtually impossible to replicate in a house that has changed hands."  

Peill invites us into these homes and expounds on their architectural details and  history, including the many tragedies and challenges that accompany such storied places.  Half of the homes profiled are not even open to the public, so seeing behind otherwise closed doors, is a treat  As I read through this book, I was reminded me of the thrill of visiting Inveraray Castle in Scotland last March (the sight of the fictional Doneagle Castle of Downton Abbey), which also happens to have remained "in the family."  This book would be a perfect gift for anyone who appreciates grand architecture and the equally grand history behind it.    

(Photography by James Fennell)

The Grenville Room at Prideaux Place Cornwall

The incredible ceiling of the gallery at Milton Cambridgeshire

The Great Staircase of Badminton Gloucestershire


The Large Library of Goodwood House Sussex

Thank you to Meghan Phillips and Vendome Press for this treasured addition to my collection.

4 comments:

Karena Albert said...

Dear Michele,
This looks like a fabulous book for anyone's collection! There is something so intriguing about these estates and the families that inhabit them for centuries!
xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

You are making me smile, because I wonder about the stories the wall would tell. I probably don't want to know...but the fantasy is so fun.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I've had this sitting on my desk for a month at least now waiting and begging to be read -this may be the motivation I needed!

Elisa of Fancy Free Me said...

Sounds like an amazing book! I love history and houses.

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