Bonnettstown: A House in Ireland

Andrew Bush, Author, Andrew Bush, Photographer, Mark Haworth-Booth, With ABRAMS $39.95 (13p) ISBN 978-0-8109-0748-5
After hitching a ride with a noble-looking gentleman named Commander Geoffrey Marescaux de Saubruit in Kilkenny, Ireland, Bush visited and later boarded at his august, if fading, 18th century Georgian manor, shared by the commander with three other elderly aristocrats (one ``told of her escape from peasant revolutions and the Russian invasion of post-Hitler Germany''; another of ``working for the Tanganyika Police and as a film extra alongside Charlie Chaplin''). Charmed as much by the memory of the manor's vanished splendor as by its remaining vestiges, the author set out to capture all on film before home and grounds were transformed by new owners. The result, Bush's first book, is a record of dignified decay warmed by an unseen but implied human presence: keepsakes, tattered but beloved, share a room with an elegant armoire; tendrils burgeon in a floral wallpaper; seemingly ancient laundry dries in a primeval cellar. In his decision to document instead of lament, Bush chose wisely; his respect for the manor in its past and its present produces coolly objective, humane images of architecture and objects bathed in austere daylight. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
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