How the Country House Became English

Stephanie Barczewski


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Reaktion Books
11 September 2023
ISBN: 9781789147605
368 pages

From the publisher

Country houses have come to be regarded as quintessentially English, not only in terms of their architectural style but because they appear to embody national values of continuity and insularity. The histories of country houses and England, however, have featured episodes of violence and disruption, so how did country houses come to represent one version of English history, when in reality they reflect its full range of contradictions and complexities? This book explores the evolution of the country house, beginning with the violent impact of the Reformation and Civil War and showing how the political events of the eighteenth century, which culminated in the reaction against the French Revolution, led to country houses being recast as symbols of England's political stability.