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The Americans and the British Country House
on 21 November 2013
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.