Private Newport At Home and in the Garden

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9780821228487: Private Newport At Home and in the Garden
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Newport, Rhode Island, blessed with stunning ocean vistas and constant sea breezes, is home to some of the most exceptional private residences in America. Its deeply rooted history makes it a perennial destination, with more than 3.5 million visitors each year. Although it is one of the most high profile towns in the country, Newport is also one of the most cloistered. Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden offers an invitation to venture beyond the privet hedges and massive iron gates. It is the first book to step inside the privately owned mansions to reveal a diverse collection of architectural jewels complemented by spectacular gardens. These homes, created by distinguished architects and landscape designers, are stunning examples of Newport's 375-year "old-world" heritage. Eighteen exquisite and unique homes are prominently featured-from the resilient crescent curve of majestic Seafair, which withstood the Hurricane of '38, to the prizewinning Japanese garden at Wildacre, to the nostalgic working farm of heritage breeds at Swiss Village-each contributing its own part to the "Eden of America."

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About the Author:

Bettie Bearden Pardee is a seasoned lecturer and an active member of the Newport community. She was contributing editor to Bon Appetit for ten years and author of the "Entertaining with Style" column. She produced and hosted the fifteen-part PBS series "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House" and has produced segments, and appeared on, many TV spots including Good Morning America and Live with Regis and Kathy Lee. She and her husband divide their time between Newport, Atlanta, and New York.

Photographer Mick Hales's work has appeared in House and Garden, Vanity Fair, Architectural Record, and Town and Country. His books include Monastic Gardens (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 2000).

From Publishers Weekly:

The co-chair of the annual Newport Flower Show and a flower-arranging judge with the Garden Club of America, Pardee was a Bon Appetit contributing editor for 10 years and hosted the PBS series The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House. Unlike many residents, Pardee lives in Newport year-round and, though the scale of this land of scions and heiress has been reduced, there’s still plenty of wealth hidden there. As Marion Oates Charles writes in the introduction, "Private Newport revolves, for the most part, around a community at ease with itself." The residents are not pictured here, but they do speak to Pardee about the 18 properties on which she has chosen to focus. There is "A Rocky Hall Christmas" with a giant decorated fir glowing before a burnished wood living room; there are "Sunset Views at Pelican Ledge," where the fireplace is inset with Wedgwood porcelain. While many of the houses date back generations, and period furnishings are appropriate to them, many of the book’s color photos make an eerie, Stepford-like impression. It’s as if the American upper class’s idea of style were frozen in time, endlessly copying 18th-century English and French manors. Pardee is knowledgeable about the histories of various houses ("Gray Craig had a large staff, including thirty gardeners in the summer"), and her pleasure in them is clearly evident. The photos are well-framed and lit, though the interiors can seem chill and antiseptic. But the book’s other main attractions, the sea and the gardens that surround it, are undeniably sumptuous.
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