The Englishman's Room

Derry Moore, Photographer, Alvilde Lees-Milne, Editor Salem House Publishers $28 (0p) ISBN 978-0-88162-214-0
These fairly diverse, but not revelatory, notions of what some Englishmen consider a proper room to be may tempt Anglophiles. For Sir John Gielgud, a beloved dressing room at London's Haymarket Theatre is proper turf for reflection and privacy; a pottery studio serves a similar purpose for Quentin Bell. Thirty-one Englishmen were asked to describe their special rooms, even those located well away from England in Greece or Morocco. Is there a general characteristic? Readers will notice how extraordinarily ""arranged'' these rooms are, how remarkably fussy. Positively stated, they convey what decorator David Hicks calls a ``full look.'' Unfortunately for the contributors, photographer Moore deadens what charm and life are to be seen in the rooms. There is a portrait of each contributor, and Moore has positioned the men looking down, in profile, or staring rather longingly out a window. The results are fey and boring. While the book is mildly diverting, its parts do not a sum equal. Lees-Milne and Moore have previously collaborated on The Englishwoman's House. First serial to Architectural Digest. (October 20)
Reviewed on: 09/29/1986
Release date: 10/01/1986
Hardcover - 144 pages - 978-0-517-55596-5
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