This stunning book presents the intriguing stories and celebrated histories of some of the leading families of Great Britain and Ireland and the opulent residences that have defined their heritages. The history of England is inextricably linked with the stories of its leading aristocratic dynasties and the great seats they have occupied for centuries. As the current owners speak of the critical roles their ancestors have played in the nation, they bring history alive. All of these houses have survived great wars, economic upheavals, and, at times, scandal. Filled with stunning photography, this book is a remarkably intimate and lively look inside some of Britain’s stateliest houses, with the modern-day aristocrats who live in them and keep them going in high style.This book presents a tour of some of England’s finest residences, with many of the interiors shown here for the first time. It includes Blenheim Palace—seven acres under one roof, eclipsing the splendor of any of the British royal family’s residences—property of the Dukes of Marlborough; the exquisite Old Vicarage in Derbyshire, last residence of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (née Deborah Mitford); Haddon Hall, a vast crenellated 900-year-old manor house belonging to the Dukes of Rutland that has been called the most romantic house in England; and the island paradises on Mustique and St. Lucia of the 3rd Baron Glenconner. This book is perfect for history buffs and lovers of traditional interior design and English country life."
Aristocracy means "rule by the best." For nine hundred years, the British aristocracy considered itself ideally qualified to rule others, make laws, and guide the nation. Its virtues lay in its collective wisdom, its attachment to chivalric codes, and its sense of public duty. It evolved from a medieval warrior caste into a self-assured and sophisticated elite, which made itself the champion of popular liberty: It forced King John to sign the Magna Carta and later used its power and wealth to depose a succession of tyrannical kings from Richard II to James II. Britain's liberties and constitution were the result of aristocratic bloody-mindedness and courage. Aristocrats traces the history of this remarkable supremacy. It is a story of civil wars, conquests, intrigue, chicanery, and extremes of selflessness and greed. The aristocracy survived and, in the age of the great house and the Grand Tour, governed the first industrial nation while a knot of noblemen ruled its growing empire. Under pressure from below, this political power was slowly relinquished and then shared. Yet democratic Britain retained its aristocracy: Churchill, himself the grandson of a duke, presided over a wartime cabinet that contained six hereditary peers. Lawrence James illuminates the culture of this singular caste, shows how its infatuation with classical art has forged England's heritage, how its love of sport has shaped the nation's pastimes and values, and how its scandals have entertained its public. Impeccably researched, balanced, and brilliantly told, Aristocrats is an enthralling story of survival, a stunning history of wealth, power, and influence.
In this stylish and provocative book, the eminent historian David Cannadine brings his characteristic wit and acumen to bear on the British aristocracy, probing behind the legendary escapades and indulgences of aristocrats such as Lord Curzon, the Hon. C. S. Rolls (of Rolls Royce), Winston Churchill, Harold Nicolson, and Vita Sackville-West, and changing our perceptions of them - transforming wastrels into heroes and the self-satisfied into the second-rate. Cannadine begins by investigating the land-owning classes as a whole during the last two hundred years, describing their origins, their habits, their increasing debts, and their involvement with the steam train, the horseless carriage, and the aeroplane. He next focuses on patricians he finds particularly fascinating: Lord Curzon, an unrivalled ceremonial impresario and inventor of traditions; Lord Strickland, part English landowner and part Mediterranean nobleman, who was both an imperial proconsul and prime minister of Malta; and Winston Churchill, whom Cannadine sees as an aristocratic adventurer, a man who was burdened by, more than he benefitted from, his family connections and patrician attitudes. Cannadine then moves from individuals to aristocratic dynasties. He reconstructs the extraordinary financial history of the dukes of Devonshire, narrates the story of the Cozens-Hardys, a Norfolk family who played a remarkably varied part in the life of their county, and offers a controversial reappraisal of the forebears, lives, work, and personalities of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West - a portrait, notes Cannadine, of more than a marriage. Written with sympathy and irony, devoid of snobbery or nostalgia, and handsomely illustrated, Cannadine's book is sure both to enlighten and delight.
William Cavendish embodied the popular image of a cavalier. He was both courageous and cultured. His passions were architecture, horses, and women. And, along with the whole courtly world of King Charles I and his cavaliers, he was doomed to failure. Cavendish was a master of manège (the art of teaching horses to dance) and obsessed with building beautiful houses in the latest style. He taught Charles I's son to ride, and was the general of the king's army in the north during the Civil War. Famously defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644, he went into a long continental exile before returning to England in triumph upon the restoration of King Charles II to the throne in 1660. This is the story of one remarkable man, but it is also a rich evocation of what sustained him-his elaborate household. Lucy Worsley brings to life the complex and fascinating hierarchies among the inhabitants of the great houses of the seventeenth century, painting a picture of conspiracy, sexual intrigue, clandestine marriage, and gossip. From Ben Jonson and Anthony Van Dyck to long-forgotten servants, Cavalier recreates the cacophony, stink, ceremony, and splendor of the stately home and its inhabitants.
"This magnificent book, the fullest account ever written on its absorbing subject, will come as a revelation, even to those who think they know London, for many of the great town mansions featured in it, a good number of which are still in private occupation, are very little known and have never been illustrated before… a major contribution to British architectural and social history." - Professor David Watkin, Professor Emeritus, Department of History of Art, University of Cambridge The great houses of London represent one of the marvels of English architecture and yet they are almost entirely unknown. They are for the most part disguised behind sober facades but their riches within are astonishing. From the romantic 17th century Ashburnham House, nestling in the shadow of Westminster Abbey, through the splendid 18th century aristocratic palaces of the West End, to the curious and quirky arts and crafts houses of Holland Park and Kensington, to the cool modernist houses of Hampstead and the exuberant post-modern interiors of the last thirty years, every house has its own story to tell.
An intimate tour of the exclusive and never-before-seen magnificent palace and houses of the Cayetana Alba, whose collection of art, furniture and historical documents are recognised as one of the best in the world.
Although known for its lush green vistas and glorious countryside, Ireland also boasts an architectural trove of 18th- and 19th-century country houses.Great Houses of Ireland reveals 26 of these wonderful castles and county seats, many never published before in full color.
A stunning volume documenting the architecture of more that forty structures, providing a history of the families that commissioned them. A unique blend of social and architectural history.
This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the Parisian mansion that has served as the residence of successive British Ambassadors to France since 1814. The British Ambassadors Residence in Paris is one of the most splendid historic homes in the French capital and the most impressive of all British ambassadorial residences abroad. The author, Tim Knox, charts the stirring story of the house, from its origins as the home of the Ducs de Charost, to its opulent heyday under Napoleons sister, Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, much of whose luxurious furniture and decoration survives intact. Since 1814, when Pauline sold the house to the 1st Duke of Wellington, the mansion has served as the residence of successive British Ambassadors to France, who altered the house to suit their taste and character, notably Sir Duff Cooper and his beautiful wife, Lady Diana, whose Empire-style study is still redolent of their brilliant social circle in post-war Paris. This beautiful house on the rue du Faubourg St. Honoré, furnished with masterpieces of French Empire furniture and decorative arts, English silver, and paintings by British artists, remains a splendid but hard-working setting for promoting the Franco-British relationship.
A highly detailed look at the English country house interior, offering unprecedented access to England's finest rooms. In this splendid book, renowned historian Jeremy Musson explores the interiors and decoration of the great country houses of England, offering a brilliantly detailed presentation of the epitome of style in each period of the country house, including the great Jacobean manor house, the Georgian mansion, and the Gothic Revival castle. For the first time, houses known worldwide for their exquisite architecture and decoration--including Wilton, Chatsworth, and Castle Howard--are seen in unprecedented detail. With intimate views of fabric, gilding, carving, and furnishings, the book will be a source of inspiration to interior designers, architects, and home owners, and a must-have for anglophiles and historic house enthusiasts. The fifteen houses included represent the key periods in the history of English country house decoration and cover the major interior fashions and styles. Stunning new color photographs by Paul Barker-who was given unparalleled access to the houses-offer readers new insights into the enduring English country house style. Supplementing these are unique black-and-white images from the archive of the esteemed Country Life magazine. Among the aspects of these that the book covers are: paneling, textile hangings (silks to cut velvet), mural painting, plasterwork, stone carving, gilding, curtains, pelmets, heraldic decoration, classical imagery, early upholstered furniture, furniture designed by Thomas Chippendale, carved chimney-pieces, lass, use of sculpture, tapestry, carpets, picture hanging, collecting of art and antiques, impact of Grand Tour taste, silver, use of marble, different woods, the importance of mirror glass, boulle work, English Baroque style, Palladian style, neo-Classical style, rooms designed by Robert Adam, Regency, Gothic Revival taste, Baronial style, French 18th century style, and room types such as staircases, libraries, dining rooms, parlors, bedrooms, picture galleries, entrance halls and sculpture galleries. Houses covered include: Hatfield - early 1600s (Jacobean); Wilton - 1630/40s (Inigo Jones); Boughton - 1680/90s (inspired by Versailles); Chatsworth -1690/early 1700s (Baroque); Castle Howard - early 1700s (Vanbrugh); Houghton - 1720s (Kent); Holkham - 1730s-50s (Palladian); Syon Park - 1760s (Adam); Harewood - 1760s/70s (neo-Classical); Goodwood - 1790s/1800s (neo-Classical/Regency); Regency at Chatsworth/Wilton/C Howard etc - 1820/30s; Waddesdon Manor - 1870/80ss (French Chateau style); Arundel Castle -1880s/90s (Gothic Revival); Berkeley Castle - 1920/30s (period recreations and antique collections); Parham House - 1920s/30s (period restorations and antique collections). The range is from the early 17th century to present day, drawn from the authenticated interiors of fifteen great country houses, almost all still in private hands and occupied as private residences still today. The book shows work by twentieth-century designers who have helped evolve the country house look, including Nancy Lancaster, David Hicks, Colefax & Fowler, and David Mlinaric
The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire. Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.
New York Times Bestseller Named one of the Best Gift Books of the Year by Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, House Beautiful, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, Luxe Interiors + Design, People StyleWatch, Garden & Gun, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, New York Magazine, and more John Derian’s home goods empire reaches far and wide—in addition to the four John Derian stores he owns in New York and Massachussetts, his products are sold by more than 600 retailers worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, ABC, and Gump’s in the United States; Conran and Liberty in the UK; and Astier de Villatte in Paris. It all started with his now-iconic collectible plates decoupaged with 19th-century artwork sourced from old and rare books, a process that credited him with elevating the decoupage technique into fine art. Over the past 25 years, the brand has expanded greatly to include home and general design gifts and products. Now, for the first time ever, comes the book John Derian fans have been waiting for. Culled from the thousands of images that have appeared in his biannual collections, here is an astoundingly beautiful assortment of nearly 300 full-bleed images in their original form. From intensely colored flowers and birds to curious portraits, hand-drawn letters, and breathtaking landscapes, the best of John Derian is here. The result is an oversized object of desire, a work of art in and of itself, that brilliantly walks the line between commerce and art, and that is destined to become the gift book of the season.
Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900's and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.
"For four centuries the ideal of the gentleman's farm has inspired Virginians to create extraordinary homes on landscapes of unparalleled beauty ... The houses featured in this book range from the Eastern Shore through the fabled Hunt Country and Piedmont, encompassing centuries-old family plantations and presidential retreats as well as aristocratic private estates lovingly restored as homes, working farms and resorts. Together, the elegant homes of these gentlemen--and gentlewomen--farmers tell the story of enduring allure of traditional country life, architecture and interior design."--Flyleaf.
"Celebrates the life of rooms both great and modest, and the evolution of their function, their architectural features and interior decoration, featuring a diverse selection of historic homes in both England and the U.S."--Dust jacket flap.
Apsley House is a magnificent building housing a unique collection. Designed by the architect Robert Adam, the house was remodelled for the 1st Duke of Wellington and filled with dazzling works of art and memorabilia. The new guide contains full-colour maps, plans, eyewitness accounts and historic photographs.
Adventure through the princely Thurn und Taxis estate, an enchanted palace where 1,000 years of history meets a thoroughly modern family. For 200 years the Thurn und Taxis family have called the palace of St. Emmeram home. Regarded as one of Germany's finest examples of historicist architecture, the Regensburg residence's myriad rooms trace centuries of distinctive styles: a Romanesque-Gothic cloister built between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, a neo-Renaissance marble staircase, a number of Rococo and neo-Rococo staterooms, and a Baroque library frescoed in 1737. Celebrated photographer Todd Eberle captures the confluence of high art and grand architecture within the 500-room palace to reveal the curious tale of the Thurn und Taxis family. Complete with stately portraits and scenes of life at St. Emmeram, this monograph offers a glimpse into the world and glamour of one of the most important dynasties of the European aristocracy.
This first volume on Franocois Catroux is a comprehensive consideration of the work and life of an international master of interior design. Franocois Catroux is an innovator and explorer in modern eye. This book looks at Catroux's career chronologically, featuring his first projects in 1968 through his latest, completed only this year, and includes the interiors of houses and apartments around the globe, from Paris to New York, Hong Kong to Los Angeles. Luxuriously photographed, this volume is more than just a design monograph on one of the great, and so far relatively untold, careers in the history of design--it is also a lively and intimate read about a life lived in great style.
"Vogue s Book of Houses, Gardens, People" (1968) was a landmark publication among decorating books, and it chronicles an important chapter in the history of "Vogue." "Vogue" s Horst P. Horst, a leading fashion photographer of his time, developed an intense interest in seeing the world s great homes and meeting their owners; beginning in the early 1960s, he journeyed in an elite world that would soon be lost. With accompanying lyrical essays about homes and their occupants by the famed writer Valentine Lawford (Horst s partner in work and life), the book is a virtual who s who of society, politics, and the arts in the mid-20th century. "Around That Time" showcases much of the material featured in the original book, plus never-before-seen photographs from those homes as well as images from additional homes Horst shot well into the 1980s. This book introduces this work to a new generation of design, decorating, and visual art professionals, academics, and enthusiasts."
The granddaughter of Winston Churchill traces the dramatic history of one of Britain's leading families and the estate that they have called home for three centuries, looking at Blenheim, the traditional home of the Duke of Marlborough, from the time of the first duke during the reign of Queen Anne, through the birth of Sir Winston Churchill, and beyond.

Best Books