Who doesn't wonder what it would be like to live in a grand English country house?  In his latest book, The English Country House, James Peill explores ten great British estates, all of which are still in the hands of descendants of the original owners.  As Julian Fellows notes in the foreword, "A house that has never been sold tells a complete and unbroken story in a way that is virtually impossible to replicate in a house that has changed hands."  

Peill invites us into these homes and expounds on their architectural details and  history, including the many tragedies and challenges that accompany such storied places.  Half of the homes profiled are not even open to the public, so seeing behind otherwise closed doors, is a treat  As I read through this book, I was reminded me of the thrill of visiting Inveraray Castle in Scotland last March (the sight of the fictional Doneagle Castle of Downton Abbey), which also happens to have remained "in the family."  This book would be a perfect gift for anyone who appreciates grand architecture and the equally grand history behind it.    

(Photography by James Fennell)

The Grenville Room at Prideaux Place Cornwall

The incredible ceiling of the gallery at Milton Cambridgeshire

The Great Staircase of Badminton Gloucestershire

The Large Library of Goodwood House Sussex

Thank you to Meghan Phillips and Vendome Press for this treasured addition to my collection.


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