Once in a while, one is lucky enough to find a book that is quite simply breathtaking; it pulls you into another world and keeps you there, immersed in a time long-since gone. Adrian Tinniswood's magnificent, The Long Weekend, is one such book. It is a definitive and unique work on life in the English country house between the wars and I really can't recommend it enough. Everyone should read this stunning work!
Life in the English Country House Between the Wars
Published 2nd June 2016 | Jonathan Cape | £25 | Hardback | eBook also available
The definitive social history of England’s stately homes, by the acclaimed social and architectural historian Adrian Tinniswood.
Containing over 60 illustrations.
There is nothing quite as beautiful as an English country house in the summer. And there has never been a summer quite like that Indian summer between the two world wars, a period of gentle decline in which the sun set slowly on the British Empire and the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes.
Real life in the country house during the 1920s and 1930s was not always so sunny. By turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, its shadows were darker. In The Long Weekend, Adrian Tinniswood uncovers the truth about a world half-forgotten, draped in myth and hidden behind stiff upper lips and film-star smiles.
Drawing on hundreds of memoirs, on unpublished letters and diaries, on the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and unhappy heiresses and bullying butlers, The Long Weekend gives a voice to the people who inhabited this world.
In a definitive social history which combines anecdote and narrative with scholarship, it brings the stately homes of England to life, giving readers an insight into the guilt and the gingerbread, and showing how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs, and how the reality was so much more interesting than the dream.
Adrian Tinniswood is the author of fourteen books of social and architectural history. A Senior Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham and a Visiting Fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University, he has worked for and with the National Trust at local, regional and national level for more than thirty years. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE for services to heritage.