The Last Country Houses

last-country-housesThis 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. What a contrast these romantic houses made with those created for the opulent society associated with Edward VII! That ultra comfortable world was blow apart by the First World War. Afterwards, the shortage of servants spurred numerous developments in technology, first introduced to the habitations of the rich—vacuum cleaners, washing machines, telephones and central heating.  Architecture, interior decoration and gardens reflect the struggle to shape the country-house idyll to the hard priorities of the age.