This volume recounts an odyssey through country houses in the years after World War II. Between 1946 and 1961 the author visited over 200 houses, becoming aware of the riches they contained, which were under threat from demolition men and dealers. He describes Nikolaus Pevsner being mistaken for the gas-meter-reader; reveals a secret hoard of porcelain at Slindon; and the curious discovery of an Alsatian in the bath at Draycot Cerne. In a dining room the family protraits still hang on the walls, and the Meissen stands in a cabinet, yet the centre of the room is piled high with turnips. Using archive photographs, the book describes country houses in their death throes, as mahogany staircases burn in the park and rococo ceilings shatter beneath the hammer.