The Country Houses of John Vanbrugh: From the Archives of "Country Life" (Country Life)

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9781845130978: The Country Houses of John Vanbrugh: From the Archives of "Country Life" (Country Life)
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The country houses designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) are some of the most original and memorable works of architecture in Britain. He was rightly judged ‘The Shakespeare of architects’ by Sir John Soane, and was the designer of Castle Howard in Yorkshire and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, two of the great iconic houses of Britain.

Vanbrugh’s life was almost as remarkable as his houses. The son of a merchant of Dutch extraction, his grandfather had left Haarlem to avoid religious persecution as a protestant; his mother was related to many of the great landed families of the day. Before turning his attentions to architecture in 1699, he worked as a merchant, travelling to India in the service of the East India Company; served as an army officer; was arrested and imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy, and, as a playwright, wrote and produced successful comedies such as The Relapse.

Accompanied by well-researched, fascinating accounts of his great houses and their landscapes, Jeremy Musson’s book brings together 200 of the finest photographs of his country houses, taken for Country Life magazine over the last century. Complete with an introductory biography of Vanbrugh’s remarkable life and character, The Country Houses of John Vanbrugh is a truly comprehensive work that will delight admirers of this great all-rounder of the Augustan age.

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The country houses designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) are some of the most original and memorable works of architecture in Britain. He was rightly judged 'The Shakespeare of architects' by Sir John Soane, and was the designer of Castle Howard in Yorkshire, and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, two of the great iconic houses of their age. He also designed or remodelled a string of amazing country houses, sometimes described as 'enchanted castles' such as Seaton Delaval Hall in Northumberland and Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire.Vanbrugh's life was even more remarkable than his houses. The son of a merchant of Dutch extraction, his grandfather left Haarlem to avoid religious persecution as a protestant; his mother was related to many of the great landed families of the day, including the Earl of Abingdon and the Duke of Devonshire.

He began his career as a merchant, travelled to India in the service of the East India Company, served as an army officer, was arrested, as a civilian in France and imprisoned on suspicion of being a spy, worked as both playwright and theatrical impresario, writing and producing successful comedies such as "The Relapse" and then, in 1699 he turned his lively mind to architecture.This new book, brings together 200 of the finest photographs of his country houses, taken for "Country Life" magazine over the last 100 years, and is introduced by a short biography covering his remarkable life and character and his important relationship with his assistant, Nicholas Hawksmoor. The breathtaking colour and duotone images that illustrate the book are accompanied with well-researched and readable accounts of his great houses and their landscapes.This book is the latest in Aurum's widely praised series based on the Country Life Picture Library. It relates the extraordinary life of one of the great 'all-rounders' of the Augustan age - soldier, adventurer, playwright and architect.

It covers two of Britain's greatest stately homes, Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard, as well as a host of lesser-known country houses. It is superbly illustrated with colour and duotone photographs by some of the greatest architectural photographers of the twentieth century.

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