This exquisite book offers an unprecedented look at the English country house through the eyes of Country Life. Sixty-two outstanding houses in a range of architectural styles spanning seven centuries—from medieval Stokesay Castle to newly built, Lutyens-inspired Corfe Farm—are brought to life through the magazine’s world-renowned photography library. More than four hundred colour and black and white illustrations provide an insight into the architecture, decoration, gardens, and landscape settings of these houses, which are set into their architectural and historical context by the accompanying text and extended captions.
The book provides an entrée into the houses to which Country Life has had privileged access since 1897, many of which are still private homes, often occupied by descendants of the families that built them. Punctuating the book at intervals in the form of booklets on rich, uncoated paper set against spreads of historic wallpaper designs are six essays by leading British architectural historians Marcus Binney, Tim Knox, Jeremy Musson, Tim Richardson, John Martin Robinson and Geoffrey Tyack. These set the English country house into its social context and chart changing tastes in decorating and collecting, the development of ancillary buildings, gardens and landscapes, and, finally, its influence in the United States.
ON-LINE 5-STAR REVIEWS of The English Country House
*****Beautiful manor houses of Historic Britain
“Anyone who is both an Anglophile (like me) and obsessed with beautiful historic houses, beautiful ‘things’, history and architecture, along with interior design, will love this. A great Christmas or birthday present. Weighs a ton but you can pore over it for days—an account of the history of England’s historical ‘houses’ (as they call them in Britain—here they’d be called ‘palaces’) and fabulous colour photos you will love. A ‘coffee table’ book you will take out again and again—certainly worth the $$$.”
Alexa Porter, 13 Mar. 2015
*****A Feast for the Eyes
“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.”
M. C. Chapman, 10 Jan. 2010
*****The English Country House—Best Ever!
“This definitive book on the English country house will provide the reader with a generous and varied selection of beautiful homes to enjoy. It includes vintage and current photos, and presents exteriors and interiors in vivid colour as well as black and white. The history and ownership of the homes are extensively detailed. Since the book is quite heavy, you may wish to keep it as a coffee table book. Or it can be kept on the night stand for a late night relaxing browse to encourage sweet dreams! The print quality is excellent and so is the quality of the paper on which it is printed. Mine was purchased used and arrived in stellar condition. This is the book that you will want to return to time and time again.”
M. L. Casey, 19 Nov. 2010
*****The English Country House
“This is a brilliant book detailing a vast array of stunning English country houses. The houses are nothing short from being exceptional. All the major architectural styles are richly illustrated with gorgeous full-page colour photos.
The photos also reveal the beautiful decorative elements and each property has both exterior and interior shots. The text is also very informative and easy to follow giving just the right amount of information regarding the property and its historical and architectural significance. There are also several short chapters written by expert scholars discussing the unique architectural and decorative motifs which distinguish the English country house.
This is a highly recommended book for anyone interested in fine architecture and beautiful photography.”
Lilly Ford, 13 Jan. 2012
*****The English Country House by Mary Miers
“This is a superb, beautifully photographed book and very well put together. It is a large volume, with large colour photographs throughout. It details many English manor houses, both in photographs and the written history of the houses and their owners. This is one of the nicest books of this type I own, and I have a large library. This book is great for merely an armchair traveller, or a person who actually researches these houses and then travels to see them. I highly recommend its purchase to anyone interested in the history of English manor houses.”
Marjorie, 5 Mar. 2013
“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.”
Talentseer, 28 Dec. 2009
“Gorgeous and insightful. The pictures are straight from the archives of Country Life and both interior and exterior aspects are treated with great care. Not just a pretty coffee table book – it’s a tremendous information resource. This is a Must Buy for me.”
Jam-i, 29 Mar. 2010
“One of the best books documenting English country house interiors that I have seen. This is much more than a coffee table book and well worth the price.”
Charles Atchley, Jr., 22 Sep. 2010
*****TOP NOTCH BOOK
“I have a lot of books on the subject and this is among the best!”
Tom Sawyer, 24 July 2010