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The Fate of the English Country House
The Fate of the English Country House
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David gives an overview of the book:

From Booklist Littlejohn informs his reader in no uncertain terms that the "statelies" of England are an endangered species--referring to the large country mansions that are home to the country's landed gentry. In an informative account not as esoteric as the subject might sound, the author embarks on a tour of the remaining stately homes of England (and, for the sake of control of his material, forgoing those in Scotland, Wales, or either of the two Irelands), in the process discussing with owners the problems they face in keeping up such anachronistic leviathans in today's expensive world. Littlejohn reflects on the function served by these grand houses in previous eras and examines the options available to current owners to keep the wrecking ball at bay, such as deeding the house to the National Trust, turning it into a tourist site, selling off...
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From Booklist

Littlejohn informs his reader in no uncertain terms that the "statelies" of England are an endangered species--referring to the large country mansions that are home to the country's landed gentry. In an informative account not as esoteric as the subject might sound, the author embarks on a tour of the remaining stately homes of England (and, for the sake of control of his material, forgoing those in Scotland, Wales, or either of the two Irelands), in the process discussing with owners the problems they face in keeping up such anachronistic leviathans in today's expensive world. Littlejohn reflects on the function served by these grand houses in previous eras and examines the options available to current owners to keep the wrecking ball at bay, such as deeding the house to the National Trust, turning it into a tourist site, selling off important artwork, dividing the building into smaller dwelling units, or converting it to a private boarding school. This unique and lively work of cultural history is certainly not limited to the interest of Anglophiles. Brad Hooper

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The product of a lifelong obsession, a couple of years of library owners, and several months in England over two years, during which my wife (who is English) took all the photographs for the book, while I interviewed the current owners or managers of some 90 stately homes--many of whom invited us to stay for lunch, tea, drinks, or dinner. And then Oxford Press bought it, and brought it out in both England and America--which led to lecture tours on both sides of the Atlantic, and a free crossing on the QE2 for us to talk about the book. One of the most agreeable book projects I've ever been involved in.

About David

David Littlejohn:  Biographical sketch

    I was born in San Francisco, as were my parents and grandparents. My grandfather’s grandfather came to California in 1850, along with a lot of other people.  I’ve come to regard this state as a unique...

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