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An Exuberant Catalogue of Dreams: The Americans who Revived the Country House in Britain Hardcover – 17 Oct 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd; First Edition edition (17 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781310947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781310946
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 2.2 x 29.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 314,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

‘Magnificent book with stunning photographs and glorious anecdotage.’

(Tatler)

‘From cover to cover, we are met with a magnificent array of images, both period and contemporary, that prove just how greatly we, as a nation, are indebted to those men and women who embraced our landscapes and our culture so generously. Combine this with a narrative distinguished as much by its effortless style as by its intelligent insights, and we have a truly exceptional work, every bit as entertaining as it is informative.’

(Country Life)

About the Author

CLIVE ASLET is a former editor of Country Life and an eminent architectural historian and author whose previous books include (for Aurum) The Arts & Crafts House, (for Frances Lincoln) The Edwardian Country House and, most recently, War Memorial: The Story of One Village's Sacrifice from 1914 to 2003. He lives in London and Ramsgate.


Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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Aurum Press has published many books on country houses and gardens based on a certain perspective, such as region, period, architect or having been demolished. This time the selection has been based on country houses which were revived by Americans with their money and taste. As stated in the introduction: "If an Englishman's home is his castle, it might be because he married an American". Clive Aslet has selected 18 Americans and their influence on 24 country houses. Famous examples are the Astors at Clivenden and Hever Castle, Consuelo Vanderbilt at Blenheim Palace and Crowhurst Place, Lawrence Johnston at Hidcote Manor, Nancy Lancaster at Kelmarsh Hall, Ditchley Park and Haseley Court, J Paul Getty at Sutton Place. Each chapter describes a person or family and their background and achievements in this field. There are so many persons and names involved, that sometimes you wish to have a family tree available. Most of the accompanying pictures are in black and white, with a few colour photographs. Unfortunately a few, mainly family pictures, are of poor quality. Recommended for those interested in this subject, it is crammed with information and certainly not a coffee table book.
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WOW..... What an unusual and thrilling book ...
you simply cannot put it down .... unless you finished it... and you will always pick it up again ..

the stories of the various houses and how they were saved , or taken over by people who had the means to bring the houses Back to their former glory and better!!!

a great buy ... and a great present to give...
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Wonderfully illustrated, so poorly written. Some of the English is so poor that I found myself checking again and again to see if these were essays compiled by Clive Aslet, were some of them by a different hand? Perhaps we are not expected to read the text, what a pity as the stories are so interesting. Many of the people portrayed changed the social structures , the interior decorating styles and even the landscape saving some of Britains' heritage for future generations. The use of their extraordinary financial resources makes for fascinating reading.
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A book of great quality, both in terms of content and production. A hardback volume, printed on good paper with high production-values. The subject matter is going to be of either great or slight interest to the general readership.
What cannot be disputed is the correct research, archive pictures and range of the contents. I'd happily have read much more on each house that has been documented. However, this book has 'nailed' the topic brilliantly.
My criticism is the book's title, this is too factual a book for it.
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I was slightly disappointed that for the most part, the interior shots are old black and white photographs and not always of the best quality, a lot of them look as though they were gleaned from the Country Life archives, many of the places that are covered have not been re-photographed in colour and the editorial is simple, almost all the information can be gleaned by googling, so this doesn't get full marks I'm afraid.
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Fantastic. An exuberant book!
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Most interesting and enjoyable and one to keep on the coffee table to pick up and read a little at a time and for visitors to also enjoy the content.
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Disappointing content. Most images are available online and the text was uninformative.
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