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Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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Felling the Ancient Oaks: How England Lost its Great Country Estates + England's Lost Houses: From the Archives of Country Life + Country House Life: A Century of Change in Britain's Country Homes
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845136705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845136703
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Mr Robinson provides an important introduction whose elegiac tone must not be regarded as undermining its historic acuteness.' Contemporary Review THis book is a particularly powerful and poignant reminder that a house - whether grand or modest - is so much more than bricks and mortar This England 'A poignantly illustrated volume. Robinson writes with passion of the fate of ancient landed families...there are numerous spellbinding illustrations.' - Marcus Binney, Architecture Correspondent The Times 'An eloquent study of some 20 'lost' estates. Dr Robinson is a distinguished architectural historian. There can be few people better placed to tell this story. His introductory essay should be read by anyone interested in the history of land-owning in England.' - Jeremy Musson Country Life magazine 'Stunning visual record of our most spectacular and scenic country estates...magnificent book.' 9/10 Lancashire Evening Post 'An extremely handsome volume packed to the rafters with fascinating stories and stunning images of now-vanished stately homes...a great book all round' Morpeth Herald 'Informative, trenchant and often poignant book.' Eastern Daily Press 'There is something compelling and evocative about abandoned, lost or ruined homes that appeals to the voyeur in all of us, and this book hits that sweet spot again and again. It is gloriously illustrated with some mesmerising black-and-white pictures of the houses in the pomp. This is the world of Downton Abbey brought to life, or rather death, and all the more interesting for that. Every chapter could form a mini-series in its own right. The accompanying text is a joy, shot through with nostalgia for what has been lost and a disdain for the modern horrors.' Welovethisbook.com 'Beautifully rendered book' Five stars***** Yorkshire Evening Post 'Magnificent...this treasure trove of history offers a stunning and heart-breaking photographic record of our most spectacular and scenic country estates' Lancashire Evening Post 'This book doesn't just tug one's heart-strings but yanks them heartily...beautifully illustrated' The Field

About the Author

John Martin Robinson is a British architectural historian and officer of arms. Robinson is also a Knight of Magistral Grace of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. He lives at Beckside House, Cumbria. Robinson is an active member of the Georgian Group.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have a large number of books on the British Country House, its evolution / history and this one is nearly perfect. It is a high quality production thru-out from the dust jacket to it's high quality/glossy paper. The vintage "Black and white" photos from the Country Life Magazine are crisp, clear and terrific. The introduction of the book gives a lucid, informative overview of the history of the British Country Estate - it's beginnings, evolution, rise between 1750 and 1880, the long painfull decline of the British Landed Estate over the last 125 + years and the hopefull recovery of interest in their preservation over the last 25 years. The author then takes us to 21 vanished estates and their magnificent gardens / parklands - some famillar names such as Cassiobury, Trentham Court, Witley Court and Panshanger and less well known houses such as Haggerson Castle, Hinton St George, Costessey and my personal favorite, Highhead Castle in Cumberland. Each estate is magnificently researched - this is a "coffee table" book that has some real insights on the progression of the rise and decline of each of these estates by detailing in each chapter the family, financial and political currents that led to most of these homes /estates being dismembered and demolished. It is a sad commentary on what we called "progress" in the 20th century that many of these estates were destroyed to make a road or to make way for a trailer park and the author's acid disdain / dismay for some of the decesions made by estate owners and the local and central goverment authorities is clearly shown.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Neil Paczkowski on August 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book focuses on many different British country houses that were lost during the early 20th century - some to the destruction of being converted to war use; some to finanical hardship; and others simply because of their seemlingly impracticalness in the 20th Century. Each house includes several photos. Showing them in their full glory (interior and exterior photos) and photos showing the houses in far more ruinous condtion. The descriptions of each house included family history, architectual insight, garden information, and how certain elements of the house or property survived throughout the years. The only drawback is that the entire book is black & white, a personal preference certainly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Kerley on October 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book beautifully illustrates several of Britain's lost treasure houses. Good period photos and informative text. I recommend this book for history enthusiasts.
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