How To Read A Country House

How to Read A Country House (Ebury, 2006)

cntryhs.jpgThis is a handsomely produced general introduction to looking at country houses, identifying period by observation of detail – doors, windows, staircases, chimneypieces, panelling – and layout, noting the importance of Classical iconography in plasterwork and heraldic decoration in painted and carved contexts. Richly illustrated, this handbook is aimed at the enthusiastic country house visitor, and also has essays on furniture and portraits, stables, gardens, and includes a glossary of technical terms used to describe historic detail in architecture. There is a listing for each of 200 country houses open to the public and pictures of houses such as Chatsworth, Hatfield House, Waddesdon Manor, Owlpen Manor, Penshurst, Althorp House, Berkeley Castle, Kelmarsh Hall, Belton House, Newby Hall, Stonor Park, Uppark, Houghton Hall, Highclere Castle, Scarisbrick Hall among others.

Reviews 

“A delightful and truly informative gift book”

History Today, December 2005

“Every one of the National Trust’s two million members would find their pastime enriched by reading this book.”

The Sunday Telegraph, November 2005

“[Musson is an] instructive and entertaining guide… his study is greatly enriched by his keen eye for the amusing detail and the diverting quotation.”

Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd in Country Life, December, 2008

“A clear and helpful guide to architectural periods.”

National Trust magazine, 2006