BRITISH EMBASSIES: Their Diplomatic & Architectural History

BRITISH EMBASSIES: Their Diplomatic & Architectural History

JAMES STOURTON & LUKE WHITE    Book Number: 90566    Product format: Hardback

A revelation, here are the diplomatic and architectural histories of Residences and Embassies in 26 countries in a heavyweight, deliciously luxury book. A beguiling mixture of national history, architectural description, diplomatic record and sometimes gossipy anecdote, accompanied with specially commissioned photographs, this is a lively read for anyone interested in the international projection of British power and culture. Whether Lutyens buildings in Washington, grand palaces in Europe, beautiful old colonial buildings in Asia or secure compounds in the Middle East like Kabul, or the Governor's Palace in Gibraltar in colonial baronial style, acquired grand town mansions such as Buenos Aires, Moscow and Prague, purpose-built grand town embassies like Istanbul, Vienna and Washington, residential villas like Tunis, Tehran, Cairo, Bangkok, Kuwait, Stockholm, Rome, Montevideo or Berlin, it wasn't until the Second World War that there was privacy designated for an ambassador and his family. Entertaining used to be the most recognisable activity of the embassies, formal occasions for soft power diplomacy but also playing the cultural card. The doors to these missions have been opened to a top class photographer who captures the essentially British interiors of fine furnishings, chandeliers, libraries, billiard tables, exquisite sculptures, clocks, artwork and furniture with more than a nod to the host country with touches of Persia, colonial alms, ballrooms, decorated ceilings, wood panelling. The book is a revelation because many of these buildings have been scenes of extraordinary political events, espionage and cross-cultural celebrations, and they all represent the constant adaptation of British diplomacy to new conditions. A truly magical collection, one of our favourites must be the British Embassy Residence in Belle Epoque style facing the Kremlin which is pregnant with history - from here Churchill sparred with Stalin, Bevin with Molotov, and Mrs Thatcher consolidated her profoundest foreign policy achievement, the early recognition of Gorbachev. Superb history combined with the exquisitely glamorous photography, the author James Stourton is a former Chairman of Sotheby's UK and he has a witty, informative and endlessly fascinating writing style. 352pp, 26cm x 31.4cm.
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Published price: £40
Bibliophile price: £20.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9780711238602
Browse these categories as well: Art & Architecture, Travel & Places

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