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Great Houses of London [Hardcover]

James Stourton , Fritz von der Schulenburg
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: £40.00
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Book Description

4 Oct 2012

'This lavishly illustrated compendium suggest that the age of elegance endures' Mail on Sunday 

The great houses of London represent one of the marvels of English architecture and yet they are almost entirely unknown. They are for the most part disguised behind sober facades but their riches within are astonishing.

There are many architectural wonders, among them Robert Adam’s 20 St James’s Square and William Burges’s Tower House. Several – including Bridgewater House with its Raphaels and Titians – have held great art collections.

These are houses that hold extraordinary stories: half the Cabinet resigned after breakfast at Stratford House; and on 4 August 1914, at 9 Carlton House Terrace, then the German Embassy, young duty clerk Harold Nicholson deftly substituted one declaration of war for another.

Great Houses of London opens the door to some of the greatest and grandest houses in the world to tell the stories of their owners and occupants, artists and architects, their restoration, adaptation and change. 

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Great Houses of London + The English Country House + English Country House Interiors
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Frances Lincoln (4 Oct 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0711233667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0711233669
  • Product Dimensions: 31.2 x 25.9 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 71,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


'The true fascination resides in the less well-known interiors'

(RA Magazine)

'This magnificent book, with illustrations of breathtaking beauty specially taken by Fritz von der Schulenburg, is the fullest account ever written of its absorbing subject. It will come as a revelation, even to those who think they are familiar with London . . . The book is . . . not only about architecture, but about people, whose social, artistic and political ambitions, and manner of living, are vividly brought to life . . . We are familiar with the depressing list of great houses demolished in the 20th century, from Devonshire House to Londonderry House, but this book can surely cheer us up during the recession with its visions of surviving splendour.’

(David Watkin Country Life)

'This lavishly illustrated compendium suggest that the age of elegance endures'

(Mail on Sunday)

'This sumptuously illustrated volume...extends its reach both sociologically and chronologically... James Stourton's text is very readable, deftly mingling the architectural history and the social, and on the whole reliable, and it is completemented by Fritz von der Schulenburg's specially taken photographs'

(Historic House)

'Writing in a deceptively simple style, Stourton concentrates on architects and artists, on awners and occupants. Idiosyncratic and amusing, he makes you see everything in a new light'

(The Tablet)

'the deft weaving of architectural, social and contemporary history will reveal unexpected pleasures'  

(Art Quarterly)

'A fascinating and witty tour of some of London's most elegant (and most secret) houses and the people who built them'


'Stourton writes elegantly and absorbingly about both architects and owners'

(Marcus Binney The Times)

'A treasure ... best of all are the authors personal asides on builders and those who inspired them'


'This is a truly magnificent book. The wonderful text tells the story of the architects, owners and occupants, restoration, adaptation and change. And the photographs are exceptional.'

(Good Book Guide)

About the Author

JAMES STOURTON is Chairman of Sotheby's UK. He writes regularly for The Times, the Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Spectator and Apollo. Previous books include Great Smaller Museums of Europe (2003) and Great Collectors of Our Time (2007).
During a photographic career that has spanned over 35 years, FRITZ VON DER SCHULENBURG has achieved international acclaim. His photographs have been published in numerous interior design and architectural magazines, including The World of Interiors, House & Garden and Architectural Digest. He has also published several volumes of his own work. These include: Neoclassicism in the North, The English Garden Room, Romantic Scotland, Empire, and Living by Design.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour de Force 1 Nov 2012
Utterly brilliant. If you have ever looked up at some terraced façade on a dark London afternoon and seen through its first floor windows the ceiling of a mighty chamber - and wondered who lived there, and who built it, and what paintings hung there - this book gives you your answer; Great Houses of London opens up those locked double doors and guides you around with scholarly comment and underplayed wit.
Everyone will have their favourites, but I especially loved the dwellings of the Duchess of Marlborough, the Italian Ambassador, Richard Rogers and Jimmy Page. There are scores more, including a magnificent Nazi creation on the Mall, the Archbishop's hammer-beamed palace in Lambeth, and the achingly lovely Whitehall rotunda (now a government office) where Byron seduced Lady Caroline Lamb. This book is - in every sense - a tour de force.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like being back there again. 21 Nov 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I used to live in London in Kensington high street and one of the houses featured was actually right across the street from my flat and I,ve always wondered what the inside of these beautiful houses around the city would look like.Thanks to this wonderful and informative book we get to see beautiful and imposing architecture dotted around London as well as a glimpse of their equally beautiful interiors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 9 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an expensive book but well worth the money if you are interested in great houses. The photographs are brilliant and the text throws a fascinating light on the history of each house. It is surprising how many great houses there are in London and this book allows us to see inside many houses which are never open to the public.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STUNNING 13 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent quality book. very informative and detailed. Well presented and edited with high quality photographs and informative writing. The authors has really treated the subject with great skill without gushing. A much recommended addition to any library which will appeal to a wide range of readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great gift! 15 Sep 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautiful photography and detailed, concise information about the various properties contained within it s pages. This is lovely to give and receive. I bought it as a gift but would be so pleased to own a copy myself. Urges one to seek the houses out and explore these truly extraordinary houses in our great capital city.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, quick delivery, fair price 9 Jun 2014
By Jakub
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Easy buying process, great choice. I also like the possibility of gift wrapping and a little message you can attach to make your loved ones even more happy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great buy for people who love old houses. 18 Jan 2014
By Skinboy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Beautiful photo's and well written, its a glimpse into a world that we could never usually see in our everyday life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Houses Good Job 4 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great Houses isn't just about the great houses of Lomdon it includes noteworthy houses of the professional classes too. Great palaces and mansions of the aristocracy and the nouveau riche yes, and the more domestic houses of artists, architects etc. This book addresses a gap in the literature, their country bretheren and well documented but the houses of London have been strangeley neglected.
The history appearance of each house is briefly described the illustrations are gorgeous If you enjoy interior design magazines or just riffling throught the property pages of Country life, you'll enjoy this book.
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