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The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home
     

The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home

by Peter Mandler
 

ISBN-10: 0300078692

ISBN-13: 9780300078695

Pub. Date: 06/10/1999

Publisher: Yale University Press

How much do the English really care about their stately homes? In this pathbreaking and wide-ranging account of the changing fortunes and status of the stately homes of England over the past two centuries, Peter Mandler melds social, cultural, artistic, and political perspectives and reveals much about the relationship of the nation to its past and its traditional

Overview

How much do the English really care about their stately homes? In this pathbreaking and wide-ranging account of the changing fortunes and status of the stately homes of England over the past two centuries, Peter Mandler melds social, cultural, artistic, and political perspectives and reveals much about the relationship of the nation to its past and its traditional ruling elite. Challenging the prevailing view of a modern English culture besotted with its history and its aristocracy, Mandler portrays instead a continuously changing and modernizing society in which both popular and intellectual attitudes toward the aristocracy—and its stately homes—have veered from selective appreciation to outright hostility and only recently to thoroughgoing admiration.

With great panache, Mandler adds the missing pieces to the story of the country house. Going beyond its architects and its owners, he brings to center stage a much wider cast of characters—aristocratic entrepreneurs, anti-aristocratic politicians, campaigning conservationists, ordinary sightseers and voters—and a scenario full of incident and local and national color. He traces attitudes toward the stately homes, beginning in the first half of the nineteenth century when public feeling about the aristocracy was mixed and divided. Criticism of the "foreign" and "exclusive" image of the typical aristocratic country house was widespread. At the same time, interest grew in those older houses that symbolized an olden time of imagined national harmony. The Victorian period also saw the first mass tourist industry, and a strong popular demand emerged for the right to visit all the stately homes. By the 1880s, however, hostility toward the aristocracy made appreciation of any country house politically treacherous, and interest in aristocratic heritage declined steadily for sixty years. Only after 1945, when the aristocracy was no longer seen as a threat, was a gentle revival of the stately homes possible, Mandler contends, and only since the 1970s has that revival become a triumphant appreciation. He enters today's debate with a discussion of how far people today—and tomorrow—are willing to see the aristocracy's heritage as their own.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300078695
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
06/10/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
534
Product dimensions:
6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction The Stately Homes and England 1(6)
Prelude Houses of Taste (to 1815) 7(14)
PART I MANSIONS OF ENGLAND, 1815-1880 21(88)
1 The Victorian Idea of Heritage
21(50)
The Origins of National Heritage
22(16)
Mansions of the Olden Time
38(33)
2 Hosts and Guests: The Opening of the Country House
71(38)
The First Age of Mass Visiting
71(14)
Varieties of Visiting: Historic Shrines and Show-places
85(24)
PART II FORTRESSES OF BARBARISM, 1867-1914 109(116)
3 Philistines, Barbarians and Aesthetes
109(44)
The Philistines: Modernizing the Nation
110(7)
The Barbarians: Privatizing the Country House
117(15)
The Aesthetes: Refining the Olden Time
132(21)
4 Philistines vs. Barbarians: Popular Politics and the Failure of Preservation
153(40)
Radicalism and Heritage, 1867-1885
154(6)
Radicalism against Heritage, 1885-1905
160(13)
Crisis of the Aristocracy, 1905-1914
173(20)
5 'Splendid Paupers': The Closing of the Country House
193(32)
Restriction, Riot and Resentment
196(13)
Tourism Refined
209(16)
PART III WHITE ELEPHANTS, 1914-1939 225(86)
6 Land without Lords: The Nadir of the Country House
225(40)
The Modern Countryside
227(15)
Desertion, Demolition, Disuse
242(12)
A Ghostly Presence
254(11)
7 Brideshead Rehabilitated: Georgian Salvage in the 1930s
265(46)
Order in the Countryside
266(12)
The Rule of Taste from George V to George VI
278(17)
Saving the Country House
295(16)
PART IV OPEN HOUSES, 1939-1974 311(90)
8 The Country House and the Welfare State
311(44)
Old Houses in the New Jerusalem
312(17)
Nationalizing the Country House?
329(14)
Doles for Dukes
343(12)
9 The Country House and the Affluent Society
355(46)
Aristocratic Renaissance
356(13)
The Stately-Home Business, 1945-1964
369(19)
Culture, Leisure or Heritage, 1964-1974
388(13)
Epilogue Treasure Houses (since 1974) 401(18)
Notes 419(57)
Select Bibliography 476(25)
Acknowledgements 501(3)
Photograph Credits 504(1)
Index 505

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