"[I]f only we could make the manor subscribe a little bit towards her own upkeep," we fretted. But she was an aristocratic lady on our hands. All ideas for making her work for a living were wrecked on the fact that she was born to be served and not to serve. Six friends have spent the dark, deprived years of World War II fantasising-in air raid shelters and food queues-about an idyllic life in a massive country house. With the coming of peace, they sieze on a seductive newspaper ad and take possession of a neglected 33-room manor in Kent, with acres of lavish gardens and an elderly gardener yearning to revive the estate's glory days. But the realities of managing this behemoth soon dawn, including a knife-wielding maid, unruly pigs, and a paying guest who tells harrowing stories of her time in the French Resistance, not to mention the friends' conscientious efforts to offer staff a fair 40-hour work week and paid overtime. And then there's the ghost of an overworked scullery maid . . . Based on the actual experiences of Ruth Adam, her husband, and their friends, A House in the Country is a witty and touching novel about the perils of dreams come true. But it's also a constantly entertaining tale packed with fascinating details of post-war life-and about the realities of life in the kind of house most of us only experience via Downton Abbey.
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- Author : Christopher Christie
- Publisher : Manchester University Press
- Release Date : 2000
- Genre : Architecture
- Pages : 333
- ISBN : 0719047250
This work explores the British country house between 1700-1830 and looks at the lives of the noblemen and the servants who inhabited them. Reference is made to the whole of the British Isles and there is a discussion of their political significance.
The great interest of Jocelyn Playfair's book for modern readers is its complete authenticity. Set sixty years ago at the time of the fall of Tobruk in 1942, one of the low points of the war, and written only a year later when we still had no idea which way the war was going.
The way a man thinks about his day-to-day living and the needs of his household reveals a great deal about his ambitions, his idea of himself, and his role in the community. And his house or castle offers many clues to his habits as well as those of the members of his household. This intriguing book explores the evolution of country house plans throughout Britain and Ireland, from medieval times to the eighteenth century. With photographs and detailed architectural plans of each house under discussion, the book presents a whole range of new insights into how these homes were designed and what their varied designs tell us about the lives of their residents. Starting with fortified medieval tower houses, the book traces patterns that developed and sometimes repeated in country house design over the centuries. It discusses who slept in the bedchambers, where food was prepared, how rooms were arranged for official and private activities, what towers signified, and more. Groundbreaking in its depth, the volume offers a rare tour of country houses for scholar and general reader alike.
This book presents a series of conference papers which explored a topic that has received a good deal of interest in recent years, namely the material culture of the country house and its presentation to the public. This links in with academic interest in the consumption practices of the elite, and in the country house as a lived and living space, which was consciously transformed according to fashion and personal taste; but also ties in well with our concern as curators to present a coherent narrative of English Heritage and other properties and their contents to the modern visitor.The proceedings address a number of current academic debates about elite consumption practices, and the role of landed society as arbiters of taste. By looking at the country house as lived space many of the papers throw up interesting questions about the accumulation and arrangement of objects; the way in which rooms were used and experienced by both owners and visitors, and how this sense of 'living history' can be presented meaningfully to the public. The conference was international in scope, so the experience in the United Kingdom can be compared with that in other European countries, throwing new light on our understanding of consumption and the country house.
In the first place, the house doesnt even look haunted. With these words, a different world opens up to readers as it did some twenty nine years ago for an unsuspecting family from Buffalo, New York. Echoes of a Haunting traces the steps of this normal family whose life turned upside down when they moved to a disturbed or haunted house in Southern New York State in 1970. It is told in diary form in order to bring a semblance of order to the events. At first, the family tended to discount the happenings and come up with some rather creative explanations. Soon, however, the explanations began more and more to assume the form of rationalizations. Before long, they were forced to admit that there was no natural cause for what was occurring daily both in the house and in the surrounding area. Reluctantly, the members of the family began to reach out to others. In some cases, they encountered scorn and even a strange, unwarranted, hostility as though the whole panoply of phenomena were their fault. It was a very bad atmosphere in which to raise a family. Once the story became public, help was offered by psychics and clergy. In some cases this help even brought a temporary relief but the trouble never disappeared for long. Strange accidents, one almost fatal, happened on a regular basis. Figures were seen, both human and otherwise. In one case a house was seen where no house had existed for many, many years. Disturbing personality changes emerged, even resulting in a transformation of eye color from brown to blue. The toll taken on the emotional and physical health of the family soon became too much to endure and they were forced to abandon the house in 1974. Hopefully, this book will cause skeptics to think again to avoid a similar shock to the senses. The family had a rude awakening. Its never easy finding out that you cant always trust your senses, that nothing is really impossible and that there is a breaking point for everyone. Whether the reader is a died-in-the-wool
Why was heraldry so important to the families for whom houses were built? How does the layout of a house reveal the values of the people who lived in it? By reading the architectural features of a house - even simple items such as windows, doors, chimneys and staircases - we can learn so much about the past. Interiors, as well as exteriors, have a story to tell, with floor layouts and contents of rooms revealing much about the people who built and lived in them. We can also read the iconography of a house: its symbols and images, spanning subjects such as classical mythology, religion and British history. Heraldry too is an essential tool for understanding much of the details found in country houses, from coats of arms to crests, or fireplace decorations and ceiling bosses. Through all this, we gain a glimpse into the social world of the families who lived there - and discover that the stories of many country houses are inextricably linked by marriage, royalty or political or military service. Richly illustrated with stunning photographs from the unique archive of Country Life magazine, this book is a joy for all those who want to learn more about our heritage, art and architecture, and the essential characteristics of a classic country house.
This anthology brings together some of the finest writing in English on the subject of the English country house, a topic currently enjoying a renascence of academic and general interest. The houses represented are for the most part fictional, and the extracts illustrate the various ways in which such descriptions function as part of the system of meanings in a novel, play, or poem. People shape their houses and their houses shape them. Houses may be seen as architectural metaphors of their owners. The extracts of this anthology demonstrate that an author's descriptions of a country houses features make it a metonym of its owners or occupiers. In a vast number of instances houses are depicted (even before the owner is described) in such a way as to give insights into, or clues to, his or her social status, and ethical and moral tastes. The various glimpses that the extracts provide of the country house its architecture, its garden, the well-being of its servants and tenants, the hospitality (or lack of it) that its guests experience, the extent of the paternalism in the running of the estate all in some way reflect the character of the owners. The huge ostentatious villa of Popes Timon reflects the vulgar pretension of its owner, and the noble house and demesne of Beaumanoir is a home befitting the cultured and hospitable Lord Henry Sydney in Disraeli's Coningsby. Moreover, by implication the house itself may well become a representative example of others of its kind: so we are led to believe that Jane Austens Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice with its tasteful elegance is a type of many others such; and that (later) there are many houses throughout England like Waughs Brideshead whose glory has vanished after the second World War. The Introduction provides some historical and cultural context for the institution of the country house and traces some of the themes and topics that have persisted or been transformed during the long period (from the sixteenth century to
Brings together research on the introduction of domestic technologies into country houses and their estates.
The Country Housewife and Lady s Director in the Management of a House and the Delights and Profits of a Farm
- Author : Richard Bradley
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 1736
- Genre : Cooking
- Pages : 231
- ISBN : UCSD:31822031021603
Features articles on, and plans for, twenty-six country homes, from a small lake-side cottage to a large rustic woodland retreat
- Author : Terence Dooley
- Publisher : Unknown
- Release Date : 2017-11-30
- Genre : Country homes
- Pages : 296
- ISBN : 1846826470
In recent years, the role of women in country houses and estates across Ireland and the UK has been the focus of greater attention. Chatelaines, mothers, wives, daughters, widows, sisters, housekeepers, and maids were ever-present figures in the microcosm of the country house. New research has begun to reveal the extent of their involvement in managing households and estates, influencing design, adopting public roles, championing good causes, as well as raising families and committing their thoughts to paper in literary expression. This volume of essays, many of which draw on hitherto unseen family archives, will bring new perspectives to our understanding of the country house as a place where many women often held powerful roles. Contributors include: Amy Boyinton (U Cambridge), Kerry Bristol (U Leeds), Philip Bull (La Trobe U, Melbourne), Anne Casement (ind.), Jonathan Cherry (Maynooth U), Arlene Crampsie (Maynooth U), Caroline Dakers (Central St Martins), William Fraher (U Limerick), Judith Hill (Trinity College Dublin), Edmund Joyce (Carlow IT ), Ruth Larsen (U Derby), Anna Pilz (University College Cork), Lowri Ann Rees (Bangor U), CiarÃ?Â?Ã?Â¡n Reilly (Maynooth U), Regina Sexton (University College Cork), Brendan Twomey (Trinity College Dublin), and Fiona White (Galway-Mayo IT). [Subject: History, Women's History, Gender Studies, Archives, Home Design, Sociology, Irish Studies, British Studies]
An overview of the working elements of the country house kitchen, looking at the evolution of the cooking fire and the range, cooking vessels and gadgets and the staff who used them, providing insight into the realities of life below stairs in the great country houses of Britain.
- Author : John Trevor Cliffe
- Publisher : Yale University Press
- Release Date : 1999-01-01
- Genre : History
- Pages : 232
- ISBN : 0300076436
This engaging and beautifully illustrated book takes us back to the domestic world of the landed gentry in seventeenth-century England. Relating countless stories and case histories drawn from a wide range of primary sources, the book describes the physical environment, staffing, and functioning of gentry households, the inhabitants and their activities, and the role of these houses in the social and economic life of their localities. J. T. Cliffe begins by exploring the exterior and interior of houses and the outbuildings, parks, and gardens that surrounded them. He then investigates the people who lived in the country houses and the relationships between them. He provides colorful details about the responsibilities of the squire and his wife; the duties, remuneration, food, clothing, accommodation, and treatment of servants; and the special duties of estate stewards, coachmen, chaplains, and tutors. Cliffe explains various aspects of housekeeping, such as the tradition of hospitality and the factors militating against it. He also discusses other kinds of activity: religious practices; outdoor sports and indoor pastimes, including music and billiards; and such intellectual pursuits as antiquarian research, poetry, and scientific experiments. He concludes with a fascinating survey of scandal in the world of the gentry, telling of domestic strife, financial disaster, lunacy, and other disasters that marred this idyllic existence.