The Great Houses of Scotland: A History and a Guideby Hugh Montgomery Massingberd, Christopher Simon Sykes
'Another bull's' eye! 'was John McEwen's response in the Literary Review to 'this companion to the well-matched partnership's Great Houses of England and Wales', on its original publication in hardback. 'As before', wrote McEwen, 'it is the charm that tells, the humorous and poetic eye for idiosyncrasy which distinguishes both the writing and the photographs... the exteriors invariably taken at first and purest light, the interiors amusingly probed downstairs as well as up.' And in the Spectator, Patrick James commanded Syke's 'well-trained eye always scanning an unusual view or a forgotten corner' as well as 'Massingberd's wit and his authoritative prose'.
Now this acclaimed classic of the country-house genre is published in a revised, concise paperback edition featuring 25 great houses in Scotland, almost all of them open regularly to the public. The personal selection reflects the development of architectural style in Scotland - from old tower houses such as Cawdor and Traquair to the burgeoning bartizans of Glaims, the spectacular Baroque of Drumlanrig and the pioneering Classicism o f Kinross. William Adam is highlighted here for his work on such little-known masterpieces as Arniston, the House of Dun and the palatial Duff House. Indeed, besides such beloved old favorites as Blair, Hopetoun, Mellerstain and Abbotsford, the book is full of surprises - including the Gothic extravaganza of Mount Stuart and the Edwardian opulance of Manderston and Ardkinglas.
The story is brought right up to date to show how these living, changing organisms are adapting to life at the dawn of the new Millenium.
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