Books

WarMemorial

War Memorial

(Viking, Penguin, 2012)

Who were the men and women whose names are commemorated on war memorials around the country? Where did they live – and how and why did they die?

Such questions usually go unanswered, but this book for the first time unravels the story of one war memorial, in the Dartmoor village of Lydford. Through original documents, Clive Aslet traces in vivid detail the lives of the twenty-two men, and one woman, who made the supreme sacrifice fighting for Britain in the two World Wars, the Falklands and Iraq. More…

villages-of-britain

Villages of Britain: The Five Hundred Villages that Made the Countryside

(Bloomsbury, October 2010)

 

Villages of Britain is the history of the countryside, told through five hundred of its most noteworthy settlements. Many of Britain’s villages are known for their loveliness, of course, but their role in shaping the nation over the centuries is relatively untold, drowned out by the metropolitan bias of history. More…

english-house

The English House

(Bloomsbury, 2008)

 

A captivating exploration of the way we have lived as a nation over the past thousand years. Our journey begins at Clive Aslet’s family home, a perfectly unremarkable London house. But, as Aslet shows, every house has a story to tell. In this sweeping work, he introduces us to buildings of all sizes and styles, each a window onto a period of architectural history and onto the lives of the people who lived in them. More…

landmarks-of-britain

Landmarks of Britain

(Hodder & Stoughton, 2005)

 

Landmarks of Britain is the history of the nation told through the places where it actually happened. Each of the 500 ‘landmarks’ that Clive Aslet describes tells the story of a great event or figure: the effect is of a sweeping panorama of history, encompassing battlefields, cathedrals and palaces, of course, but also places linked with great events in the worlds of science, literature, architecture, religion, espionage, crime, sport agriculture and industry. More…

 

horse-in-the-country

A Horse in the Country: Diary of a Year in the Heart of England

(Fourth Estate, 2001)

 

If you were to aim for the centre and stick a pin into a map of England, the village to be impaled might well be Geddington, in Northamptonshire. A few miles from Naseby, the location of the decisive battle of the English Civil War, it sits in peculiarly typical English countryside: rolling green fields, farmland good and bad, copses of ancient woodland and busy by-passes. The village is also the site of a modern civil war, between country folk born and bred and steeped in local lore, and idealistic newcomers in search of, well, of what exactly? More…

 

story-of-greenwich

The Story of Greenwich

(Fourth Estate, 1999)

 

Greenwich — to open this book is to enter a world of living history, of pomp and pageantry, royal fiats and popular revolutions, naval exploits and mercantile triumphs and soaring scientific achievement. More…

house-of-lords

Inside the House of Lords (with Derry Moore)

(HarperCollins, 1998)

 

The House of Lords, the older of the two Houses of Parliament, is one of the marvels of Britain. As an institution, composed of hereditary peers, life peers, Law Lords and bishops, it defies comparison with any other senate in the world. More…

 

anyone-for-england

Anyone for England?

(Little, Brown, 1997)

 

What does it mean to be British? Clive Aslet was brought up to have a clear idea, but what should he now pass onto his children? There used to be a British way of doing things, an identifiable Britishness about products, a range of emotions, attitudes and responses that could be summed up as typically British — and not so long ago these values were widely shared. More…

 

american-country-house

The American Country House

(Yale University Press, 1990)

 

‘Why is it that a man, just as soon as he gets enough money, builds a house much bigger than he needs?’ asked Harvey S.Firestone in Men and Rubber, 1936.  The American Country House analyses the phenomenon he had in mind. More…

quinlan-terry

Quinlan Terry: The Revival of Architecture

(Viking, 1986)

 

Published in 1986, this was the first serious study of Quinlan Terry’s architecture, demonstrating that Classicism is a viable style for our times. Examining Terry’s then oeuvre, from village houses to religious buildings, country houses to office blocks, the book explodes that myth that the craft skills do not exist to create the classical vocabulary of ornament. More…

 

last-country-houses

The Last Country Houses

(Yale University Press, 1982)

 

This book describes the British country house during a period of epic change, 1890-1939. Even before the First World War, Lutyens and his contemporaries had been designing for a new way of life — one that included motor cars and golf, on small estates that were within easy striking distance of London, yet was wrapped within a mantle of nostalgia for the dying crafts of the countryside. More…