The Long Weekend

Life in the English Country House, 1918-1939
Author: Adrian Tinniswood
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465098657
Category: History
Page: 344
View: 3153

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From an acclaimed social and architectural historian, the tumultuous, scandalous, glitzy, and glamourous history of English country houses and high society during the interwar period

The Long Weekend

Life in the English Country House Between the Wars
Author: Adrian Tinniswood
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448191246
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 6201

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'A masterpiece of social history' Daily Mail There is nothing quite as beautiful as an English country house in summer. And there has never been a summer quite like that Indian summer between the two world wars, a period of gentle decline in which the sun set slowly on the British Empire and the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes. Real life in the country house during the 1920s and 1930s was not always so sunny. By turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, its shadows were darker. In The Long Weekend, Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the truth about a world half-forgotten, draped in myth and hidden behind stiff upper lips and film-star smiles. Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, on unpublished letters and diaries, on the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and unhappy heiresses and bullying butlers, The Long Weekend gives a voice to the people who inhabited this world and shows how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs, and how the reality was so much more interesting than the dream.

The Housekeeper's Tale

The Women Who Really Ran the English Country House
Author: Tessa Boase
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
ISBN: 1781312680
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 6594

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Working as a housekeeper was one of the most prestigious jobs a nineteenth and early twentieth century woman could want – and also one of the toughest. A far cry from the Downton Abbey fiction, the real life Mrs Hughes was up against capricious mistresses, low pay, no job security and gruelling physical labour. Until now, her story has never been told. The Housekeeper’s Tale reveals the personal sacrifices, bitter disputes and driving ambition that shaped these women’s careers. Delving into secret diaries, unpublished letters and the neglected service archives of our stately homes, Tessa Boase tells the extraordinary stories of five working women who ran some of Britain’s most prominent households. There is Dorothy Doar, Regency housekeeper for the obscenely wealthy 1st Duke and Duchess of Sutherland at Trentham Hall, Staffordshire. There is Sarah Wells, a deaf and elderly Victorian in charge of Uppark, West Sussex. Ellen Penketh is Edwardian cook-housekeeper at the sociable but impecunious Erddig Hall in the Welsh borders. Hannah Mackenzie runs Wrest Park in Bedfordshire – Britain’s first country-house war hospital, bankrolled by playwright J. M. Barrie. And there is Grace Higgens, cook-housekeeper to the Bloomsbury set at Charleston farmhouse in East Sussex for half a century – an era defined by the Second World War. Revelatory, gripping and unexpectedly poignant, The Housekeeper’s Tale champions the invisible women who ran the English country house.

The Mistresses of Cliveden

Three Centuries of Scandal, Power, and Intrigue in an English Stately Home
Author: Natalie Livingstone
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0553392085
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 512
View: 7835

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For fans of Downton Abbey comes an immersive historical epic about a lavish English manor and a dynasty of rich and powerful women who ruled the estate over three centuries of misbehavior, scandal, intrigue, and passion. Five miles from Windsor Castle, home of the royal family, sits the Cliveden estate. Overlooking the Thames, the mansion is flanked by two wings and surrounded by lavish gardens. Throughout its storied history, Cliveden has been a setting for misbehavior, intrigue, and passion—from its salacious, deadly beginnings in the seventeenth century to the 1960s Profumo Affair, the sex scandal that toppled the British government. Now, in this immersive chronicle, the manor’s current mistress, Natalie Livingstone, opens the doors to this prominent house and lets the walls do the talking. Built during the reign of Charles II by the Duke of Buckingham, Cliveden attracted notoriety as a luxurious retreat in which the duke could conduct his scandalous affair with the ambitious courtesan Anna Maria, Countess of Shrewsbury. In 1668, Anna Maria’s cuckolded husband, the Earl of Shrewsbury, challenged Buckingham to a duel. Buckingham killed Shrewsbury and claimed Anna Maria as his prize, making her the first mistress of Cliveden. Through the centuries, other enigmatic and indomitable women would assume stewardship over the estate, including Elizabeth, Countess of Orkney and illicit lover of William III, who became one of England’s wealthiest women; Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, the queen that Britain was promised and then denied; Harriet, Duchess of Sutherland, confidante of Queen Victoria and a glittering society hostess turned political activist; and the American-born Nancy Astor, the first female member of Parliament, who described herself as an “ardent feminist” and welcomed controversy. Though their privileges were extraordinary, in Livingstone’s hands, their struggles and sacrifices are universal. Cliveden weathered renovation and restoration, world conflicts and cold wars, societal shifts and technological advances. Rich in historical and architectural detail, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a tale of sex and power, and of the exceptional women who evaded, exploited, and confronted the expectations of their times. Praise for The Mistresses of Cliveden “Theatrical festivities, political jockeying and court intrigues are deftly described with a verve and attention to domestic comforts that show the author at her best. . . . [Livingstone’s] portraits of strenuous and assertive women who resisted subjection, sometimes deploying their sexual allure to succeed, on other occasions drawing on their husband’s wealth, are astute, spirited, and empathetic.”—The Wall Street Journal “Missing Downton Abbey already? This tome promises ‘three centuries of scandal, power, and intrigue’ and Natalie Livingstone definitely delivers.”—Good Housekeeping “Lively . . . The current chatelaine—the author herself—deserves no small credit for keeping the house’s legend alive. . . . Any of her action-filled chapters would merit a mini-series.”—The New York Times Book Review “Though the personal tales and tidbits are fascinating, and the sensational details of these women’s lives will intrigue Downton Abbey devotees, the real star of the story is Cliveden.”—Booklist “Lovers of modern English history and the scandals that infiltrated upper-crust society will find much to enjoy in this work.”—Library Journal From the Hardcover edition.

Debutantes and the London Season


Author: Lucinda Gosling
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 0747813337
Category: History
Page: 64
View: 7627

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Until the middle of the last century, London's social calendar was dominated by 'the Season', a round of social events and parties during which the daughters of the upper classes made their 'debuts'. Debutantes and their families descended on the capital from all over Britain to take part in this elaborate process that in its blend of glamour, great privilege and archaic and sometimes comic ritual is emblematic of a world now lost. From the preparations and formalities of court presentation to the exhausting round of parties that followed, Debutantes and the London Season is a detailed look at a phenomenon that was central to the lives of generations of privileged young ladies.

Life in the Country House in Georgian Ireland


Author: Patricia McCarthy
Publisher: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
ISBN: 9780300218862
Category: Country homes
Page: 272
View: 9842

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"For aristocrats and gentry in 18th-century Ireland, the townhouses and country estates they resided in were carefully constructed to accommodate their cultivated lifestyles. Based on new research from Irish national collections and correspondence culled from papers in private keeping, this publication provides a vivid and engaging look at the various ways in which families tailored their homes to their personal needs and preferences. Halls were designed in order to simultaneously support a variety of activities, including dining, music, and games, while closed porches allowed visitors to arrive fully protected from the country's harsh weather. These grand houses were arranged in accordance with their residents' daily procedures, demonstrating a distinction between public and private spaces, and even keeping in mind the roles and arrangements of the servants in their purposeful layouts. With careful consideration given to both the practicality of everyday routine and the occasional special event, this book illustrates how the lives and residential structures of these aristocrats were inextricably woven together. "--

The Long Week-end

A Social History of Great Britain, 1918-1939
Author: Robert Graves,Alan Hodge
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393311365
Category: History
Page: 472
View: 1160

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A classic social history by two distinguished writers who lived through the time. "The long week-end" is the authors' evocative phrase for the period in Great Britain's social history between the twin devastations of the Great War and World War II. From a postwar period of prosperity and frivolity through the ever-darkening decade of the thirties, The Long Week-End deftly and movingly preserves the details and captures the spirit of the time.

Modern Aristocrats

Ancestral Houses and Their Stories
Author: James Reginato
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780847848980
Category: Architecture
Page: 256
View: 6442

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This stunning book presents the intriguing stories and celebrated histories of some of the leading families of Great Britain and Ireland and the opulent residences that have defined their heritages. The history of England is inextricably linked with the stories of its leading aristocratic dynasties and the great seats they have occupied for centuries. As the current owners speak of the critical roles their ancestors have played in the nation, they bring history alive. All of these houses have survived great wars, economic upheavals, and, at times, scandal. Filled with stunning photography, this book is a remarkably intimate and lively look inside some of Britain’s stateliest houses, with the modern-day aristocrats who live in them and keep them going in high style.This book presents a tour of some of England’s finest residences, with many of the interiors shown here for the first time. It includes Blenheim Palace—seven acres under one roof, eclipsing the splendor of any of the British royal family’s residences—property of the Dukes of Marlborough; the exquisite Old Vicarage in Derbyshire, last residence of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (née Deborah Mitford); Haddon Hall, a vast crenellated 900-year-old manor house belonging to the Dukes of Rutland that has been called the most romantic house in England; and the island paradises on Mustique and St. Lucia of the 3rd Baron Glenconner. This book is perfect for history buffs and lovers of traditional interior design and English country life."

The Great Silence

Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age
Author: Juliet Nicolson
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802197043
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 3764

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Juliet Nicolson pieces together colorful personalities, historic moments, and intimate details to create a social history of the two years following the Great War in Britain. Not since Nicolson’s The Perfect Summer have we seen an account that so vividly captures a nation’s psyche at a particular moment in history. The euphoria of Armistice Day 1918 vaporizes to reveal the carnage that war has left in its wake. But from Britain’s despair emerges new life. For veterans with faces demolished in the trenches, surgeon Harold Gillies brings hope with his miraculous skin-grafting procedure. Women win the vote, skirt hems leap, and Brits forget their troubles at packed dance halls. The remains of a nameless soldier are laid to rest in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey. “The Great Silence,” observed in memory of the countless dead, halts citizens in silent reverence. Nicolson crafts her narrative using a lively cast of characters: from an aging butler to a pair of newlyweds, from the Prince of Wales to T.E. Lawrence, the real-life Lawrence of Arabia. The Great Silence depicts a nation fighting the forces that threaten to tear it apart and discovering the common bonds that hold it together.

Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, 1716-1783

The Omnipotent Magician
Author: Jane Brown
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 140901942X
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 400
View: 4999

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Lancelot Brown changed the face of eighteenth-century England, designing country estates and mansions, moving hills and making flowing lakes and serpentine rivers, a magical world of green. This English landscape style spread across Europe and the world. At home, it proved so pleasing that Brown's influence spread into the lowland landscape at large, and into landscape painting. He stands behind our vision, and fantasy, of rural England. In this vivid, lively biography, based on detailed research, Jane Brown paints an unforgettable picture of the man, his work, his happy domestic life, and his crowded world. She follows the life of the jovial yet elusive Mr Brown, from his childhood and apprenticeship in rural Northumberland, through his formative years at Stowe, the most famous garden of the day. His innovative ideas, and his affable and generous nature, led to a meteoric rise to a Royal Appointment in 1764 and his clients and friends ranged from statesmen like the elder Pitt to artists and actors like David Garrick. Riding constantly across England, Brown never ceased working until he collapsed and died in February 1783 after visiting one of his oldest clients. He was a practical man but also a visionary, always willing to try something new. As this beautifully illustrated biography shows, Brown filled England with enchantment - follies, cascades, lakes, bridges, ornaments, monuments, meadows and woods - creating views that still delight us today.

No More Champagne

Churchill and His Money
Author: David Lough
Publisher: Picador
ISBN: 1250071275
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 448
View: 1647

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Meticulously researched by a senior private banker now turned historian, No More Champagne reveals for the first time the full extent of the iconic British war leader's private struggle to maintain a way of life instilled by his upbringing and expected of his public position. Lough uses Churchill's own most private records, many never researched before, to chronicle his family's chronic shortage of money, his own extravagance and his recurring losses from gambling or trading in shares and currencies. Churchill tried to keep himself afloat by borrowing to the hilt, putting off bills and writing 'all over the place'; when all else failed, he had to ask family or friends to come to the rescue. Yet within five years he had taken advantage of his worldwide celebrity to transform his private fortunes with the same ruthlessness as he waged war, reaching 1945 with today's equivalent of £3 million in the bank. His lucrative war memoirs were still to come. Throughout the story, Lough highlights the threads of risk, energy, persuasion, and sheer willpower to survive that link Churchill's private and public lives. He shows how constant money pressures often tempted him to short-circuit the ethical standards expected of public figures in his day before usually pulling back to put duty first-except where the taxman was involved.

The Optimist's Daughter


Author: Eudora Welty
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 067972883X
Category: Fiction
Page: 180
View: 6002

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Laurel Hand is forced to face her Southern past when she returns to Mississippi for her father's funeral

A Different Kind Of Weather


Author: William Waldegrave
Publisher: Constable & Robinson
ISBN: 9781472119773
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 4636

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'Why did you go into politics in the first place?' A question that former Cabinet minister has found himself asked, and indeed asking himself, over the years, Lord Waldegrave's is a life lived through politics. The youngest of seven children, and the son of an earl, Waldegrave's quintessentially English upbringing would go on to shape the course of his life, instilling in him a sense of independence and self-discipline needed to steel one for a successful career in government. Formative years spent at Eton, Oxford and Harvard fortified his resolve to enter the political establishment, and by the early seventies he finally achieved his greatest ambition. As an fearless young Conservative politician in the seventies and eighties, one who witnessed the fall of Heath and the triumph and eventual decline of Thatcher, Waldegrave was firmly at the heart of one of the most exciting and tumultuous periods of modern British history. However just as his star was in the ascent, Waldegrave became embroiled in a scandal which tarnished his reputation, but could not dampen his voracious enthusiasm for the political game. An unembroidered account of the narcotic effect of politics from one of the most fiercely intellectual governmental figures of the modern age, A Different Kind of Weather is a beautifully weighted memoir of political success and failure, and the passing of an era. A Spectator Book of the Year - 'refreshingly and engagingly candid' (Jane Ridley)

Requisitioned

The British Country House in the Second World War
Author: John Martin Robinson
Publisher: Aurum Press Limited
ISBN: 9781781310953
Category: Architecture
Page: 192
View: 4110

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This book profiles 20 country houses and their fate during WW2, from schools (Chatsworth) to hospitals to barracks (Eaton Hall) to storing the National Art Collection (Penrhyn Castle). Wide geographical spread, including Scotland (where the SOE trained in West Coast castles like Rosneath) and Wales. Some houses have since been restored to former glory, like Arundel, some are famous only as a result of their wartime role - Bletchley Park - and others have been destroyed for ever.

Oppenheimer

The Tragic Intellect
Author: Charles Thorpe
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226798486
Category: Science
Page: 384
View: 7798

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At a time when the Manhattan Project was synonymous with large-scale science, physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–67) represented the new sociocultural power of the American intellectual. Catapulted to fame as director of the Los Alamos atomic weapons laboratory, Oppenheimer occupied a key position in the compact between science and the state that developed out of World War II. By tracing the making—and unmaking—of Oppenheimer’s wartime and postwar scientific identity, Charles Thorpe illustrates the struggles over the role of the scientist in relation to nuclear weapons, the state, and culture. A stylish intellectual biography, Oppenheimer maps out changes in the roles of scientists and intellectuals in twentieth-century America, ultimately revealing transformations in Oppenheimer’s persona that coincided with changing attitudes toward science in society. “This is an outstandingly well-researched book, a pleasure to read and distinguished by the high quality of its observations and judgments. It will be of special interest to scholars of modern history, but non-specialist readers will enjoy the clarity that Thorpe brings to common misunderstandings about his subject.”—Graham Farmelo, Times Higher Education Supplement “A fascinating new perspective. . . . Thorpe’s book provides the best perspective yet for understanding Oppenheimer’s Los Alamos years, which were critical, after all, not only to his life but, for better or worse, the history of mankind.”—Catherine Westfall, Nature

Mind Your Manors

Tried-And-True British Household Cleaning Tips
Author: Lucy Lethbridge
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN: 9780393249484
Category: History
Page: 128
View: 8012

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British estates were known to be the epitome of cleanliness with their white-glove perfection. For her research on servants, Lucy Lethbridge absorbed an amazing trove of knowledge about how these homes were made to gleam from Victorian through Edwardian years. She noticed that many household tasks used common, nontoxic ingredients, which feel very modern in their display of frugality and ecological soundness. Tea leaves were used to freshen up rugs, while lemon was applied to dispatch marks on teakettles and stewed rhubarb to remove rust stains. Here, Lethbridge reveals these old-fashioned and almost forgotten techniques that made British households sparkle before the use of complicated contraptions and chemical concoctions. Including quotes from servants and the doyennes of household cleaning, as well as charming art from the classic domestic manuals, this is the perfect gift for Anglophiles and those who want to put time-tested cleaning methods to work.

Making Monte Carlo

A History of Speculation and Spectacle
Author: Mark Braude
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1476709696
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 304
View: 2425

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"A rollicking narrative history of Jazz Age Monte Carlo, chronicling the city's rise from WWI's ashes to become one of the world's most storied, infamous playgrounds of the rich, only to be crushed under it's own weight ten years later"--Provided by publisher.

The Empress of Art: Catherine the Great and the Transformation of Russia


Author: Susan Jaques
Publisher: Pegasus Books
ISBN: 1681771144
Category: Art
Page: 480
View: 5591

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Ruthless and passionate, Catherine the Great is singularly responsible for amassing one of the most awe-inspiring collections of art in the world and turning St. Petersburg in to a world wonder. The Empress of Art brings to life the creation of this captivating woman's greatest legacy An art-oriented biography of the mighty Catherine the Great, who rose from seemingly innocuous beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. A German princess who married a decadent and lazy Russian prince, Catherine mobilized support amongst the Russian nobles, playing off of her husband's increasing corruption and abuse of power. She then staged a coup that ended with him being strangled with his own scarf in the halls of the palace and herself crowned the Empress of Russia. Intelligent and determined, Catherine modeled herself off of her grandfather in-law, Peter the Great, and sought to further modernize and westernize Russia. She believed that the best way to do this was through a ravenous acquisition of art, which Catherine often used as a form of diplomacy with other powers throughout Europe. She was a self-proclaimed "glutton for art" and she would be responsible for the creation of the Hermitage, one of the largest museums in the world, second only to the Louvre. Catherine also spearheaded the further expansion of St. Petersburg, and the magnificent architectural wonder the city became is largely her doing. There are few women in history more fascinating than Catherine the Great, and for the first time, Susan Jaques brings her to life through the prism of art.