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On My Bookshelf: The English Country House

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There's something mysterious about a stately home in the English countryside. With rolling green fields and charming interiors, its easy to imagined storied histories for English manors. In "The English Country House" by James Peill ($55, Vendome), Peill takes a closer look at 10 such homes, all still in the hands of descendants of their original owners.

As if the beautiful photographs of the interiors and vistas weren't enough, Peill's text also looks at the histories and legacies of the families who occupied these estates. With shows like Downton Abbey becoming increasingly popular, Anglophilia is suddenly cool. This book smartly takes advantage of that with a foreword by the show's creator Julian Fellowes.

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A beautiful detail shot from the interior of Milton in Cambridgeshire.

1 A beautiful detail shot from the interior of Milton in Cambridgeshire.

A print-filled bathroom in Milton.

2 A print-filled bathroom in Milton.

A terra-cotta bust of the young Earl of Coventry at Badminton.

3 A terra-cotta bust of the young Earl of Coventry at Badminton.

A beautifully carved detail on the chimneypiece.

4 A beautifully carved detail on the chimneypiece.

Detail of the Great Drawing Room at Badminton.

5 Detail of the Great Drawing Room at Badminton.

The family's porticullis crest in the Garter strap on the ceiling in Badminton.

6 The family's porticullis crest in the Garter strap on the ceiling in Badminton.

The Great Staircase at Badminton, remodeled in the early nineteenth century.

7 The Great Staircase at Badminton, remodeled in the early nineteenth century.

The Large Library in Goodwood House in Sussex.

8 The Large Library in Goodwood House in Sussex.

Images courtesy of Vendome Press.

Check out my blog on "The Scottish Country House."

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