CLIVE ASLET    Book Number: 86428    Product format: Hardback

Sub-titled 'The Americans Who Revived the Country House in Britain', here is a book revealing the extent of a remarkable phenomenon. Many fabulous places still exist in their present form today thanks to the philanthropy and investment of American aristocrats. Houses like Cliveden, Leeds Castle and Blenheim which survived in the ownership of a family is as much about history as American money and taste. Covering 18 Americans and their houses from the captivating May Goelet and Floors Castle in Scotland to the big game hunter Willie James and West Dean Park on the south coast, the American influence has lasting and profound effects beyond architecture and design. What became known as the 'country house look' was codified by an American - Nancy Lancaster. The greatest of the early 20th century gardens, Hidcote, was created by the American Lawrence Johnston. It was an American romance between Wallis Simpson at Fort Belvedere that caused Edward VIII to abdicate. Exuberant in its magnificent photography, here are the houses of self-made magnates like William Randolph Hearst or Gordon Selfridge. Hearst filled St Donat's Castle in Wales with untold fittings and trophies but hardly ever visited it; Selfridge's pharaonic vision for Hengistbury Head never escaped the drawing board. Others like Andrew Carnegie at Skibo or Sir Paul Getty at Wormsley, it was the chance to out-do the natives by creating idylls of baronial splendour or arcadian cricket fields. Here is Lord and Lady Curzon, Mary Leiter of Chicago pictured shortly after marriage in 1895 outside Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, the Cunards at Nevill Holt with its armour and oak furniture and grand ladies like Emerald Cunard attending the Strauss Ball at the Savoy Hotel 1931. Here are Hunts and parks, chandeliers and exquisitely decorated interiors, Hearst hosting a dinner party or with friends like Louis B. Mayer and Churchill, debutantes, statues, masons and carpenters, tennis courts and some unlikely friends, all pictured in this glamorous volume by the editor of Country Life. 208pp, 9" x 11½".
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Published price: £35
Bibliophile price: £17.50

Additional product information

ISBN 9781781310946
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