I have three books that I have recently added to my library here at Chestnut Cottage and thought you might enjoy hearing about these books, assuming you don’t already know about them! I so love to read and new books do gladden my heart.
After seeing the movie, Monuments Men, I decided to read the book by Robert M. Edsel, and I like it much better than the movie! For anyone interested in art, art history, or history in general (which I love all three) will be fascinated by this book.
It is quiet startling to me that Hitler had his grand scheme to not only conquer the Western world, but to methodically pillage the finest art and monuments in Europe! From Michelangelo’s and Da Vinci’s to Van Eyck’s and Vermeer’s, …all stolen for the Fuhrer. The unlikely heroes who tried and succeeded in saving these works of art were truly like other members of the Greatest Generation, which embodied the courageous spirit that enabled the best of humanity to defeat the worst! I highly recommend this very interesting book.
A second book that I recently added to my library is The English Country House by James Peill. Most of you know my love for the English country house style and this new book is not only lovely and informative, but the photographs, which are by James Fennell, are exquisite. I thought the photographs looked a familiar style and then remember that another favorite book, The Irish Country House was not only also written by James Peill, but also photographed by James Fennell!
For those of us who love Downton Abbey, the forward to this book is written by Julian Fellowes, who is an actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, but is perhaps best known as the creator and writer of Downton Abbey!
This beautifully illustrated book showcases ten outstanding British country houses, all still in the hands of descendants of the original owners. Several are not open to the public and this lovely book gives an intimate glimpse inside! Some of the colors in this book, particularly the paint colors just make my heart sing! I find great inspiration for my design work in this book … to create a fresh updated country house look, staying true to this very authentic design style.
Lastly, I just added the new book, An Exuberant Catalogue of Dreams.
The subject of this book is Britain’s “stately Homes” and the American money that did so much to ensure their survival between the years of the agricultural depression of the 1870’s and the aftermath of the Second World War. The book focuses on the so-called “Dollar Princesses”- Yankee heiresses who crossed the Atlantic in droves around the turn of the century and married European nobles. This study of the heiresses who traded dowries for titles and the effects of American money in these stately homes makes for a very interesting read indeed! And the appeal of this books illustrations – an outstanding array of images, both period and contemporary. I was drawn into this book by its intelligent insights and the effortless style that it seems to portray. I am certain that social and architectural historians will be forever grateful for the American monies that went into the preservation of these many homes. This is another “must read” for those of interested in the English country home style, and the people who have lived within their walls!
I hope you might find these books interesting and will perhaps put them on your library wish list!