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The English Country House: From the Archives of Country Life Hardcover – October 6, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847830578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847830572
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 1.6 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An unprecedented look at quintessential English country house interiors and architecture, from the epitome of English Tudor to the twentieth-century manor house.

"[The English Country House] is a feast of photos, and a tribute to the fine homes that have been featured in Country Life…[and] is a gorgeous tour that’s sure to inspire craving for a hot cuppa, if not a trip to the emerald isle." ~BookPage

About the Author

Mary Miers is architectural writer, arts and books editor for Country Life. Her previous career was in architectural conservation, and she established and ran Scotland's Buildings at Risk Register in the 1990s.  Her books include The Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide and American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons.  Her home is in the Highlands of Scotland.  Marcus Binney is an architectural journalist well-known for his work in the British conservation movement. Tim Knox is director of Sir John Soane's Museum in London.  Jeremy Musson is a former architectural editor of Country Life. Tim Richardson is a former gardens editor of Country Life. John Martin Robinson is the author of several books on British architecture. Geoffrey Tyack is the director of the Stanford University Centre in Oxford.

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Customer Reviews

The photographs are simply beautiful and the text informative and accurate.
Tacy Brooke
I highly recommend its purchase to anyone interested in the history of English manor houses.
marjorie
This is a brilliant book detailing a vast array of stunning English Country Houses.
Lilly Ford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 126 people found the following review helpful By MartinP on October 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I own a great number of books on English country houses, and adding a new one to the collection comes with an ever increasing risk of redundancy. Mary Miers, however, has succeeded in creating one of the most glorious books of its kind, and moreover one that consistently highlights houses that are passed over in other works. So don't expect to find Wilton, Chatsworth, Castle Howard or Blenheim in these pages. But do expect to find a great number of smaller and/or lesser known houses, revealed in loving detail and thus shown to be every bit as beautiful and interesting as their more famous neighbours. Some of these are in fact quite famous themselves, but for some reason hardly ever shown in books on country houses, such as Wrotham Park, which featured in a substantial number of TV-series and movies.

The photography is quite simply superb and generously covers interiors, exteriors, outbuildings and gardens. There are atmospheric shots of dreamy Elizabethan manors, but there's also a breathtaking aerial view of Newby Hall. Interiors are naturally lit so that colours and atmosphere feel very true. Many of the rooms shown have inviting, lived-in look. Every image is well-considered, many are large-size, and all are razor-sharp.

Houses are covered chronologically, from Elizabethan and Jacobean times right into the twentieth century. Texts are clear, brief and to the point. On several places in the book brief topical essays are bound in, printed on smaller size pages of a heavy, textured paper, which looks very classy indeed. These illuminating texts address such specific subjects as the country house interior or its garden.

In all, an endless treasure trove (this is a brick of a book!) brimful of delights, that no country house enthusiast should miss! It may look pricey, but it's worth every penny. Put this on your coffee table and you won't have to think about a way to entertain your guests.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Landau on January 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As other reviewers have commented, there are many books on the genre, quite a few stimulated by the very well-received Treasure Houses of Britain exhibition brought to the U.S. some 25 years ago, itself no doubt encouraged by the Treasures of Chatsworth show five years earlier. Mario Butta's English style was all the rage up and down Park Avenue and "new country houses" were being built by billionaires in such "shires" as Charlottesville.

On first hearing about this one, I expected another picture book on Blenheim, Wilton House, Chatsworth, etc., with a detailed discussion of John Nash's use of stucco, etc. Been there, done that. And Country Life brings to mind a stack of musty back issues with black and white photos from 1927 of Captain so-and-so and his wife Penelope with the local Hunt in front of a long-gone country house.

Instead, the book features a series of country houses you have never heard of, beautiful and virtually all still occupied today. Some are old, some are 19th century, but many were built or drastically rebuilt within the last ten or twenty years, and with tremendous success. These are practical homes, not museums, and the interior photographs reveal a very contemporary lifestyle within a heritage exterior.

And what photographs they are! An oversize book with full page, brilliantly done photographs, all in color, of exteriors, gardens and interiors with lots of helpful annotation to each photograph. They tell you who lives there now, including where the money came from, and show the adaptations they made to present day lifestyles and creature comforts. Nothing boring about any of them at all.

Highly recommended for Anglophiles who thought they had seen everything on the subject of English country houses. You haven't seen these, even in the recent books on the subject of the new country house, and you won't want to miss them.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Talentseer on December 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have quite a few of these books on English, Scottish, and Irish homes. This is absolutely the best, hand's down. Pics are fabulous, text is excellent. Unique text interludes between chapters by "guest" authors on specialized topics related to these English Country homes is also a very good feature. But the photos are the reason for the five stars. I look forward for the next edition, since there are thousands of homes in England books like this could feature. Also, it'll take a sturdy coffee table to hold this book up, it's gotta be five pounds easy. Well worth it, and the cost. Buy it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. C. Chapman on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The English Country House is a brilliant compendium from the archives of Country Life, the bible of the good life in Britain's late 19th and early 20th century heyday. Whatever your interest, be it interiors, exteriors and wonderful details or history, this will not disappoint. We are most fortunate to have the ability to be transported to a more genteel era and to be able to imagine just how the privileged lived and played before the Great Wars (WWI and WWII) changed life forever. While not an inexpensive buy, it is a worthwhile investment to any student of history.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tacy Brooke on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an absolute must for every Anglophile! The photographs are simply beautiful and the text informative and accurate. Not only for a coffee table, but for real study of teh architecture and history of each period.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Defilippis on March 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book should be considered an essential part of the library of any true anglophile or student of architecture. Although the structural details of these English country houses may prove excessive for anyone lacking in a deeply inquisitive interest in their architectural history, the sumptuous photographs of the buildings, grounds, and interiors will provide sufficient eye-candy to make this very large volume totally worth its rather high price-tag.
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