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west brit (Dublin)

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The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador's Residence in Washington
The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador's Residence in Washington
by Anthony Seldon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 29.25

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost there., 26 April 2014
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Don't get me wrong, this is a good book, but its not on a par with Flammarion's excellent book on the British Ambassadors residence in Paris which has superlative photography.

The text is a bit light as it dips into many topics without ever going into any real depth. Oddly, an interior photo of Middleton Park is incorrectly identified as the Viceroy's Palace. The book does have a ground floor and garden plan, as well as a few elevations and a section, which is always helpful in understanding a building. Lutyen's work is consistently excellent, and it is good to read a book devoted to one of his buildings. The early black and white photos are the most informative. No mention is made of the previous work by David Hicks, David Mlinaric, John Stefanidis and Laura Ashley, which is a pity as it would have shown how the embassy evolved into, admittedly, the rather bland and polite interiors of today. Understandably there are no views of the private quarters, but a glimpse or two would have been wonderful. I'm not sure if the last chapter on orchids is entirely necessary, but the photographs are the best in the book.

Could do better......


Playmobil 5137 Pirates Rowboat with Shark
Playmobil 5137 Pirates Rowboat with Shark
Price: 12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shark was the winner, 3 Jan 2013
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My nephew loved this gift. Although there are a few fiddly bits, the shark and being able to play in the bath with the toys made it a winner.


Playmobil 4007 Super Set Pirates' Cove
Playmobil 4007 Super Set Pirates' Cove
Offered by IH Reiss
Price: 52.80

5.0 out of 5 stars The cannon was the winner, 3 Jan 2013
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My nephew loved this gift, he was most impressed by the cannon. It made a good companion to his pirate ship.


Winfield House
Winfield House
by Maria Tuttle
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Politics aside, 3 Oct 2008
This review is from: Winfield House (Hardcover)
Politics aside, this is a fantastic book. Its seldom that one finds a book so focused on one home and its surprisingly rural garden, and it gives a clear idea of how the house is used. The photgraphs are of superb quality, and the numerous gatefold pages are crystal clear. The green room is unforgettable and one gets a good idea of how the house appears just before the guests would arrive for a function. Some of the private spaces are also included.

I would recommend this book if you're interested in interiors and grand entertaining.


Madresfield: One house, one family, one thousand years
Madresfield: One house, one family, one thousand years
by Jane Mulvagh
Edition: Hardcover

58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Madresfield, 4 July 2008
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Jane Mulvagh's book should be called The Lygons to be more accurate. She offers only tantalising glimpses into the house itself, using suspiciously round dimensions to describe the rooms, an implausibly high drawing room ceiling and throws away a comment about 60 bedrooms in her descriptions. If you are looking for a history of Madresfield you'd be better to read 'The Last Country Houses' or the Country Life articles, the latter of which don't make a mention in her bibliography. Her links from the brief descriptions of the house to the various family members are facile and 2 dimensional.

However as a history of the Lygon's the book is very good. It makes fascinating reading, particularly on the 20th century Lygons and offers glimpses to a very different way of life that was broken apart by scandal. The Brideshead Revisited inspiration seem undeniable and offers a realistic basis to a 20th century classic.

All in all a good book, but misleadingly titled.


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