The intellectual culture of the English country house is a ground-breaking collection of essays by leading and emerging scholars, which uncovers the vibrant intellectual life of early modern provincial England. The essays in the volume explore architectural planning; libraries and book collecting; landscape gardening; interior design; the history of science and scientific experimentation; and the collection of portraits and paintings.
The essays demonstrate the significance of the English country house (e.g. Knole House, Castle Howard, Penshurst Place) and its place within larger local cultures that it helped to create and shape. They provide a substantial overview of the country house culture of early modern England and the complicated relationship between the provinces and the national, the country and the city, in a period of rapid social, intellectual and economic transformation. It will appeal to anyone interested in the culture of the country house and its place in early modern England.
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 612 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 28 mm
'Over the two hundred years covered in this wide-ranging collection of articles, country houses were among the most important centres of literary and cultural activity in England. Their architecture, decoration, and social history have been extensively chronicled by Mark Girouard, Maurice Howard, and others, but their significance for English culture in its wider sense has received less scholarly attention. This engaging collection of short articles goes a long way towards redressing that balance ... This well-written, well-edited volume deserves the attention of anyone interested in the art, literature, and wider culture of early modern England. It makes the important point that country houses were not just vehicles for ostentatious display; they could also be settings for creative leisure, or otium as the ancient Romans saw it in contrast to the negotium of the workaday world.'
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