England's Thousand Best Houses

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9780713995961: England's Thousand Best Houses

`A hymn to good architecture, an ode to authentic domestic interiors ... buy, beg, borrow or steal a copy to keep in the car. No other book (apart from his 1,000 Churches) will prompt so many joyous detours' Christopher Hudson, Daily MailEngland's houses are a treasure trove of riches and a unique, living record of the nation's history. Simon Jenkins's magnificent guide selects the finest palaces, mansions, halls, castles and cottages throughout the land, from the stately to the humble, in a glorious celebration of English life.

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About the Author:

Simon Jenkins writes a twice-weekly column for The Times and a weekly column for the London Evening Standard. In the course of his career he has edited both the Evening Standard and The Times, and has written books on politics and the history and architecture of London. He has been deputy chairman of English Heritage (1985-90) and chairs the Buildings Books Trust, sponsors of the Pevsner guides.

Review:

'By our houses we define ourselves and by them we are known. The Englishman's home is more than his castle. It is his face, his refuge and his family hearth.' So says Simon Jenkins, who set out to create a list that is almost impossible to concoct - the thousand best houses in England. but by "best", Jenkin's doesn't mean big or grand - best means ambiance, character, that unique feeling of being lovingly lived in. And so his list includes everything from Buckingham Palace (three stars) to a small Georgian house in Spitalfield 9four stars), and castles, rectories, farm cottages and prefabs... All English human life is here to be enjoyed. 'The houses of England,' says Jenkins, 'are a treasure trove, a glory of humanity, a wonder of the world." Alright, he might be lacing it a bit with land of hope and glory and all that, but Jenkins has travelled throughout England, from Cornwall to Cumbria, to choose its most impressive, interesting and unusual houses. Not only does he include a full, rich selection of its great and famous houses and estates, but also presents an eclectic mix from the many thousands of towers, castles, halls, abbeys, cottages, private homes - even schools and prisons - of the country. From Blenheim Palace to Milton's Cottage, from Chatsworth to John Lennon's childhood home, from Spencer House to a tiny hop-pickers' shack in Kent, every architectural style and period is included, and setting for almost every kind of English life. Jenkins' only criteria are interest, distinction, and that the property should be open to the public. Check it out. You never know, your gaffe might be there!

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