Press Release: Life in the English Country House

Life in the English Country House
A Social and Archetectural History

Mark Girouard

Preface by Mark Girouard
Introduced by Simon Jenkins

‘A deeply important book, one of the most interesting contributions to architectural history’
new york review of books

From Blenheim Palace and Windsor Castle to Hardwick Hall and Audley End, the doors of England’s country houses are thrown open in this revealing history. Social historian Mark Girouard’s groundbreaking work shifts the focus of upper-class residences from pure architectural merit to function and purpose. Girouard presents the evolution of these houses through the people who lived and worked there: the clandestine encounters following the installation of backstairs; the move from candlelight to light switch; and the welcome arrival of flushing toilets.

Girouard’s history marked a major shift from only appreciating the static architecture and landscaping of English country houses. He explores the relationship between the physical buildings and the people who occupied them: England’s class system, politics and power struggles are all examined through the occupation and running of its lavish estates.

This new large-format Folio edition includes over 120 exceptional colour and black-and-white photographs. Largely sourced from the archives of Country Life, they include a wide selection by Edwin Smith, one of the greatest architectural photographers of the 20th century. As well as detailed house plans and room interiors, there are paintings by Hogarth, Turner and Constable that show off country house settings and their lavish decor, and oil portraits of owners, including Bess of Hardwick and Lord Armstrong of Cragside. Simon Jenkins adds his wealth of English Heritage and National Trust experience with a specially commissioned introduction that restates the importance of Girouard’s work. This desirable edition features an exquisite wraparound binding and slipcase design by renowned architectural artist John Pumfrey.

Product information

Bound in printed and blocked cloth. Set in Arno Pro. 376 pages 75 integrated black & white illustrations, 24 house plans and 24 pages of colour plates. Printed endpapers. Printed and blocked slipcase. 11½˝ x 8˝.

UK £70.00 US $109.00 Can $140.00 Aus $160.00




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