This volume recounts an odyssey through country houses in the years following World War II. Most had been requisitioned by the armed forces and, when de-requisitioned, were left to stand empty awaiting their owners' return. It was then that John Harris first discovered country houses.;Between 1946 and 1961 he visited over 200 houses. Hitch-hiking or travelling on pre-Beeching branch lines, he sometimes stayed in youth hostels, sometimes on straw bales in the houses themselves. No house glimpsed through the trees or up an overgrown drive escaped his attention. From these visits and from country house sales he became aware of the riches that country houses contained - pictures, china, furniture, marble fireplaces - riches that were in danger of being lost for ever. Here we follow an architectural historian in search of his quarry.