The Great Houses of England and Wales
Presented here are thirty-two notable buildings and their estates that represent a characteristically English combination of architectural splendor ... Show synopsis Presented here are thirty-two notable buildings and their estates that represent a characteristically English combination of architectural splendor and domestic comfort. This chronological selection presents a panoramic history of the evolution of the great house from Elizabethan through Edwardian times and up to the present ongoing battle for preservation. Acknowledged architectural masterpieces as well as lesser-known houses represent the work of Inigo Jones, Sir John Vanbrugh, Nicholas Hawksmoor, and Robert Adam among many other celebrated architects. The photographs, specially taken for this volume, show the familiar as well as the unexpected. In addition to splendid state rooms, grand exteriors and gardens there are photographs of private rooms and servants' quarters. These illuminating photographs offer access to the houses from an insider's point of view, presenting contemporary homes rather than museum interiors. The informed text combines architectural and social history with the individual stories of the great families and the houses they created, where their descendants in many cases still live today. Full of memorable characters and anecdotal insight, this book is a glorious tribute to what Evelyn Waugh in his preface to "Brideshead Revisited" called "Britain's chief national artistic achievement."