The American Country House
By (author) Clive Aslet
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American Country House by Clive Aslet
Book DescriptionFrom the Vanderbilts' stupendous Biltmore and the Rockefellers' Kykuit to the Duponts' museum Winterthur and William Randolph Hearst's legendary San Simeon, American country houses evoke the grandeur of a bygone world of wealth and privilege. This magnificent book describes the great country houses built with American industrial fortunes from the end of the Civil War until 1940. Written by Clive Aslet, author of a widely acclaimed study of English country houses of this period, The American Country House draws on the rich and often amusing writings of contemporaries to evoke the lives the buildings served as well as the architectural shapes that they took. According to Aslet, the American country house was in part an attempt to import aristocratic ways from Europe, but it became far more than this, and took specifically American forms to serve specific American needs. More opulent than their European prototypes and technologically more advanced, American country houses exhibited a surprising variety of style and purpose. Aslet notes that many of these houses were inspired by a desire to escape the congested and disease-ridden cities. But life in the country was a daunting prospect for many owners, who therefore chose to establish themselves within striking distance of others of their kind--along the Hudson Valley, on the Philadelphia Main Line, in the Berkshires or the Adirondacks, on Long Island, in Lake Forest, or in the balmy climate of California or Florida. Describing the houses that were built in these areas, Aslet also portrays the rural pursuits followed by the owners: farming (of a gentlemanly kind), hunting on horseback, tennis, golf, sailing, flying, and motor racing. This richly textured and wealthy lifestyle produced architecture of great distinction and provides Aslet with a canvas on which to draw an entertaining and original portrait of the creativity and the conspicuous consumption of American upper classes in their golden age.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780300105056
(267mm x 203mm x 18mm)
Imprint: Yale University Press
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publish Date: 25-Feb-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Clive Aslet
Birdcage, Paperback (June 2016)
Salonika in 1916 has become suddenly Greek. Nominally neutral, it is filled with French, British and Serbian soldiers defending it against the Austro-German and Bulgarian forces to the north. In a city seething with intrigue, cafe society continues unperturbed and the native inhabitants make from the soldiers what money they can.
Age of Empire, Hardback (November 2015)
The Age of Empire is a lavishly illustrated celebration of the architectural legacy of the British Empire and its ability to create buildings that remain as awe-inspiring as when they were first built.
English Allsorts, Hardback (October 2015)View all books by Clive Aslet
Where else will a Hornby clockwork train be happy alongside a Tiptree jam jar, or a Romney Marsh church rub along with a set of Len Deighton book jackets? This is a personal natural history of fungi and flowers will segue into an essay on Typhoo tea packets; London transports of delight into unique views of English market towns.
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Author Biography - Clive Aslet
Clive Aslet is deputy editor of Country Life and author of The Last Country Homes.
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