How to Read a Country HouseHardback
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- Publisher: Ebury Press
- Format: Hardback | 272 pages
- Dimensions: 192mm x 246mm x 30mm | 1,080g
- Publication date: 27 December 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 009190076X
- ISBN 13: 9780091900762
- Illustrations note: over 150, b&w and colour
- Sales rank: 842,340
Why was heraldry so important to the families for whom houses were built? How does the layout of a house reveal the values of the people who lived in it? By reading the architectural features of a house - even simple items such as windows, doors, chimneys and staircases - we can learn so much about the past. Interiors, as well as exteriors, have a story to tell, with floor layouts and contents of rooms revealing much about the people who built and lived in them. We can also read the iconography of a house: its symbols and images, spanning subjects such as classical mythology, religion and British history. Heraldry too is an essential tool for understanding much of the details found in country houses, from coats of arms to crests, or fireplace decorations and ceiling bosses. Through all this, we gain a glimpse into the social world of the families who lived there - and discover that the stories of many country houses are inextricably linked by marriage, royalty or political or military service. Richly illustrated with stunning photographs from the unique archive of Country Life magazine, this book is a joy for all those who want to learn more about our heritage, art and architecture, and the essential characteristics of a classic country house.
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Jeremy Musson is architectural editor of Country Life and a leading historian of the country house. He is presenter of the television series The Curious House Guest, broadcast on BBC2 in 2005. He lives in Cambridge with his family and is the author of The English Manor House (Aurum 1999).
"Jeremy Musson is a champion of the architectural heritage represented by the English country house and his book will be an immmensely useful and enjoyable companion to anyone who enjoys visiting country houses." -- Clive Aslet, Editor Of Country Life "Every one of the National Trust's two million members would find their pastime enriched by reading this book" Sunday Telegraph "...a delightful and truly informative gift book" History Today "...instructive and entertaining...his study is greatly enriched by his keen eye for the amusing detail and the diverting quotation...it is, in short, the perfect Christmas present for anyone who enjoys a country-house crawl" Country Life "beautifully illustrated...clear and helpful guide" National Trust Magazine