Enfilade

New Book | The Country House: Material Culture and Consumption

Posted in books by Editor on September 14, 2014

From English Heritage:

Andrew Hann and Jon Stobart, eds., The Country House: Material Culture and Consumption (Swindon: English Heritage, 2014), 256 pages, ISBN: 978-1848022331, £70.

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 2.22.37 PMThis book presents a series of conference papers exploring the material culture of the country house and its presentation to the public. There is an academic interest in the consumption practices of the elite as well as in the country house as a lived and living space that was consciously transformed according to fashion and personal taste. Importantly there is also a concern amongst curators to present a coherent narrative of historic properties and their contents to the modern visitor.

The proceeding address a number of current academic debates about elite consumption practices and the role of landed society as arbiters of taste. By looking at the country house as lived space, many of the papers throw up interesting questions about the accumulation and arrangement of objects, the way in which rooms were used and experienced by both owners and visitors, and how this sense of ‘living history’ can be presented meaningfully to the public.

Andrew Hann is Properties Historians’ Team Leader at English Heritage; Jon Stobart is Professor of History at the University of Northampton.