New Book | Touring and Publicizing England’s Country Houses

Posted in books by internjmb on January 24, 2018

From Bloomsbury Academic:

Jocelyn Anderson, Touring and Publicizing England’s Country Houses in the Long Eighteenth Century (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) 256 pages, ISBN: 978 15013 34979, £86. 

Over the course of the long 18th century, many of England’s grandest country houses became known for displaying noteworthy architecture and design, large collections of sculptures and paintings, and expansive landscape gardens and parks. Although these houses continued to function as residences and spaces of elite retreat, they had powerful public identities: increasingly accessible to tourists and extensively described by travel writers, they began to be celebrated as sites of great importance to national culture. This book examines how these identities emerged, repositioning the importance of country houses in 18th-century Britain and exploring what it took to turn them into tourist attractions. Drawing on travel books, guidebooks, and dozens of tourists’ diaries and letters, it explores what it meant to tour country houses such as Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Wilton, Kedleston and Burghley in the tumultuous 1700s. It also questions the legacies of these early tourists: both as a critical cultural practice in the 18th century and an extraordinary and controversial influence in British culture today, country-house tourism is a phenomenon that demands investigation.

Jocelyn Anderson completed her PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in 2013. Subsequently, she held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (2014) and the post of Early Career Lecturer in Early Modern Art at the Courtauld (2015–16). She has recently received grants from the Marc Fitch Fund and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, and she is now an independent scholar based in Toronto, Canada.


List of Plates
List of Figures
List of Tables

Introduction: ‘Come Here for Entertainment and Instruction’: Country Houses Exhibited to the Public
1  ‘For the Numerous Strangers Who Visit’: Tourists’ Itineraries and Practices
2  ‘A Sumptuous Pile of Building’: Remaking the Sights and Spaces of the House
3  ‘Eminent in Public Estimation’: The Transformation of Country Houses’ Paintings and Sculptures
4  ‘A Degree of Taste and Elegance’: Commenting on Country Houses’ Interiors
5  ‘The Beauties of Nature’: Descriptions of Country-House Gardens and Parks
Conclusion: ‘The Visitor of Today’: Legacies of 18th-Century Country-House Tourism

Appendix: Country-house Guidebooks

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