The Search for a Style: Country Life and Architecture, 1897-1935

John Cornforth, Author W. W. Norton & Company $39.95 (263p) ISBN 978-0-393-02703-7
This delightful excursion into English domestic architecture chronicles the life of Britain's upper class during a crucial period of the 20th century. Country Life , one of the world's premier ``shelter'' magazines, was established in 1897, when technical developments in half-tone printing on coated paper permitted commercially feasible illustrated periodicals. The concurrent Edwardian economic prosperity, as well as a growing interest in architecture, gardening and furnishings, provided an affluent readership that inspired the cult of the English country house. The magazine influenced developing style in the genre and rallied public opinion on the need for historic preservation. Cornforth's book offers a record in magnificent photographs and short, informative essays of some 200 properties--ranging from such grand piles as Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard to Tudor and even modernist curiosities--including many buildings that no longer exist. While his catalogue will serve as a valuable resource for the specialist, its evocation of a gracious, forever-lost era will also appeal to any Anglophile. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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