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The Perfect English Country House [Hardcover]

Candida Lycett Green
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

13 May 1991
For those interested in the history of domestic architecture and in the past generally there could be no more enjoyable project than to travel through England in search of the supreme examples of that very English speciality, the smaller country house. That is what Candida Lycett Green has done, and the result is an idiosyncratic and occasionally provocative collection of over 80 pen portraits. These have been photographed by Christopher Simon Sykes and include architectural gems from five architectural periods; Tudor to early Renaissance, Renaissance to Baroque, Georgian, Regency and Edwardian to the Thirties. Houses such as oak-timbered Elizabethan at The Ley in Herefordshire, measured Carolean symmetry at South Luffenham Hall in Rutland, rural baroque at Biddensden House in Wiltshire, miniature Palladian at Ebberston Hall in Yorkshire, Romantic Gothic at Midford Castle in Somerset, masculine Regency at Letheringsett in Norfolk, Arts and Crafts Movement romance and practicality at Broadleys on Lake Windermere and "International Modern" at Cherry Hill in Berkshire are each considered as "perfect" gems in the rich panaply of such vernacular architecture. Candida Lycett Green describes the setting and appearances of each house, dwelling on details and eccentricities, and observing that demotion from main residence or to farmhouse status has often been a blessing in disguise, preserving for the house its architectural integrity against the whims of fashion and "modernisation". The profile is completed by the lives each house has touched, and she sketches in some of the gentlemanly occupants - cavliers and clergymen, gamblers and gardeners - as well as the odd dowager. The more recent names include Rothschild, Jekyll, Beaton and Betjeman. Several of these houses have personal associations for the author, notably the Old Rectory at Farnborough where she spent her childhood. "The Perfect English Country House" is an informal layperson's guide to the evolution of the smaller English house - and much more besides. Houses such as these are not just examples of architectural perfection but bear eloquent testimony to the phases of English history. While Christopher Simon Syke's photographs eloquently capture the places as they are today, the lively and informative text also illuminates the past.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Pavilion Books; First Edition edition (13 May 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851455515
  • ISBN-13: 978-1851455515
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 23.4 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect English Country House 18 July 2008
By Ron D.
Format:Hardcover
This is a superb book with excellent descriptions of each house including, in many cases, the history of its builder and occupiers.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enchanting, delightful tour of perfect country houses! 1 April 2012
By R. MacTaggart - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very enjoyable book.

The book is laid out house by house. Each house gets but two pages; no more. One page is a full size, full color, and very gorgeous image of X house. Yum. Luscious. Intoxicating.

The other page is text with a short history and critical observations.

So, it's all very orderly. This is good. I always like house-by-house formats.

A particular delight is the writing. I often smiled while reading about some detail or history. The author LOVES each of these houses and this seemingly sprinkled magic dust over every page.

Now, I want the author to do a larger book, and with plans and interior images. I will be the first in line to buy.
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