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Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture Hardcover – September 22, 2009

4.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A rare look into the interiors of these historic houses, complete with exotic tropical hardwoods, indigenous stone, local crafts and contemporary furnishings, Caribbean Houses is one for the bookshelf." ~AlltheBestBlog.com

"The photographs are glorious... this makes an excellent coffee-table book..." ~Caribbean Beat

About the Author

Michael Connors is a contributor to numerous trade journals, including Art & Antiques and The Magazine Antiques, and he has written many books, including Caribbean Elegance, French Island Elegance, and Cuban Elegance. He lives in New York City, St. Croix, and Deer Isle, Maine.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (September 22, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847832139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847832132
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #224,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A gorgeous book and up to date photography of wonderful architecture, interior design and history. If you love the West Indies Style, with both french, british, spanish and african influences you will drool over this book. You get a feel for the real carribean and not the "resort' carribean. If you go to the Carribean for culture as well as nice beach vacations, you will appreciate this book. If you like to stay at the hotel pool, this is not for you. It is a fine representation of the finer side of the rich carribean experience, minus the kitsch and cruises.
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Format: Hardcover
As with "Cuban Elegance" and "French Islands", Dr. Michael Connors has done an exhaustive job in writing on these houses, some of them abandoned and ignored by their own countries for years. Aside from the text abundant details and the exquisite photos, the fact remains that he has become, undoubtedly, the primary source for a field US art historians have never payed any attention to. Dr. Connors' opus is invaluable to Caribbean art and antiques collectors.
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Format: Hardcover
They came across the Atlantic for the silver and gold, the exotic hardwoods, the cotton and tobacco, the salt deposits and fish, the lively slave trade and the vast riches from growing sugar cane; the Spaniards, the Dutch, the English, the French, the Danes, all jockeying for position among the 30-plus islands in the Caribbean, starting in the late sixteenth century. With their new wealth, they built vast plantations with "great houses," also called "palacios" (Spanish) and "landhuizen" (Dutch), grand homes that represented amalgamations of styles from their mother countries, designs that were adapted to utilize local building materials and protect their inhabitants from all manners of catastrophes in the new environment - the wicked hurricanes, the relentless sun and heat, the fires and the slave rebellions. But time and history marched forward, and today, most of these colonial-era mansions stand in tatters. Writes Michael Connors in the preface to his latest book, "Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture," "Their fall from grace has been gradual, as evidenced by a visitor to the islands in the late nineteenth century who wrote: 'Most of the mansions of the planters exhibit fast-increasing signs of poverty, neglect, and decay; and upon more than two-thirds of the estates the great house stands deserted and empty, sometimes falling into ruin, a melancholy monument of former luxury and life, when four-in-hands were frequent upon the roads and there were sounds of revelry in the hospitable halls." Few precious relics survived, and it is to document them that Connors set out to do in a study that the scholar calls "the first comprehensive account of the development of historically significant architecture in the West Indies." The lavish result, all illustrated with gorgeous photographs, does a wonderful job of describing the history, the people, and the forces that defined this bygone era, and helps to preserve for all time their legacy.
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Format: Hardcover
A truely wonderful look at the historic architecture and decorative arts of the island residences is presented with glorious color photos and informative text in CARIBBEAN HOUSES by Michael Connors. I have a few of his other books, and knew what to expect from this former antiques dealer turned author. It does not disappoint.
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Format: Hardcover
If you have read other books by Dr. Connors, this one will not disappoint you. It is not only a beautiful book of photographs but it is also conclusively written about Caribbean grand townhouses and great plantation houses during the colonial era. The history, style and architecture of the West Indies, which was influenced by the French, Spanish, English, Dutch and Danish islands is fascinating.

Dr. Connors has done a terrific job researching the properties, many of which have deteriorated due to neglect and absentee owners over time.

You will definitely have a new appreciation for the colonial era and the importance of maintaining the remaining structures for future generations to view and learn more about.

The photography is fabulous!
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Format: Hardcover
With Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture, Michael Connors displays great breadth as a scholar. While all his former books concern colonial Caribbean decorative arts, Caribbean Houses reveals Dr. Connors' more than adequate knowledge of the era's architecture as well. His prose is as evocative and compelling as usual, and the book's photographic illustrations can only be described as lavish. This book is a must have for anyone even remotely interested in the history of West Indian architecture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yep, I'll be jumping on the bandwagon with this one. This is a beautiful book that not only dazzles the eyes with exceptional photography, but teaches us a bit of Caribbean colonial history as well. Here is the authentic Caribbean, the one you'll find if you search beyond the typical tourist destinations.

The chapters are arranged, rather uniquely, by colonial backgrounds and their corresponding styles. The Spanish, English, Dutch, French, and Danish all had different historical roles in the region, and all left distinct stylistic elements on the domestic structures they influenced. The houses are highly stylized examples, and reveal sophisticated mastery of classical technique.

A kaleidoscope of vivid color, the Caribbean is a melting pot like no other on Earth. Brilliantly captured, the interior and exterior photography here is stunning. The related text for each site is rich with both architectural and historical contexts. There are no floor plans, elevations, or other architectural devices, but this is a book that works as well as a reference work for an architectural historian as it does a coffee table browse.
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