New in paperback. Hardcover was published in 2001.
Building or rebuilding their houses was one of the main concerns of the English nobility and gentry, some might say their greatest achievement. This is the first book to look at the building of country houses as a whole. Creating Paradise shows why owners embarked on building programmes, often following the Grand Tour or excursions around other houses in England; where they looked for architectural inspiration and assistance; and how the building was actually done. It deals not only with great houses, including Holkham and Castle Howard, but also the diversity of smaller ones such as Felbrigg and Dyrham, and shows the cost not only of building but of decorating and furnishing houses and of making their gardens. Creating Paradise is an important and original contribution to its subject and a highly readable account of the attitude of the English ruling class to its most important possession.
Table of Contents
Illustration Acknowledgements xiii
The English Country House 1 (10)
The Builders of the Country House 11 (36)
The Inspiration of Travel 47 (62)
Architect and Patron 109 (36)
A Pleasure Not to be Envied 145 (54)
The Pattern of Building 199 (34)
The Cost of the Country House 233 (64)
Building and Finance 297 (56)
Afterword 353 (8)
Appendix 361 (4)
Notes 365 (42)