New Book | The Material World of Eyre Hall

Posted in books by Editor on March 28, 2022

From Giles, in association with the Maryland Center for History and Culture, Baltimore:

Carl Lounsbury, ed., The Material World of Eyre Hall: Four Centuries of Chesapeake History (London: Giles, 2021), 448 pages, ISBN: 978-1911282914, £75 / $90.

With an Introduction by Cary Carson, and contributions by Laura Pass Barry, Bennie Brown, Edward A. Chappell, Sam Florer, Erik Goldstein, Haley Hoffman, Neal T. Hurst, Angelika R. Kuettner, Mark B. Letzer, Carl R. Lounsbury, George W. McDaniel, Katie McKinney, Elizabeth Palms, Margaret Pritchard, Sumpter Priddy, Will Rieley, Alexandra Rosenberg, Gary Stanton, Robert Watkins, and John Watson

A microhistory of 400 years of southern USA history told in the study of one place, Eyre Hall on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay.

Erected in 1759 on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, Eyre Hall is still occupied by descendants of its builder. It retains a rich variety of objects from furniture and books to silver and paintings acquired by the family, reflecting the tastes and aspirations of its many different generations. Only a small handful of places in Virginia can claim such continuity. The material culture of Eyre Hall illustrates the ever-changing meanings of this place in American culture from the seventeenth through the twenty-first century. It represents the cultural endeavours of Southern society built on slavery and impacted by the tribulations of wars, emancipation, and economic depressions. This study explores the mutability of this inheritance in the wake of such transformative events. The book is divided into four sections. The first recounts the history of those who lived at Eyre Hall. The second examines the architecture of the house and its service buildings. The third explores the formal garden. The fourth section is a catalogue raisonné of its objects.

Carl R. Lounsbury was Senior Architectural Historian at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (now retired) and Adjunct Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary. Cary Carson was Senior Vice President of Research at Colonial Williamsburg (now retired).


Foreword by J. Thomas Savage

Eyreloom: An Introduction by Cary Carson

I. The Changing Fortunes of the Eyre Family through Four Centuries
Golden Quarter by Carl Lounsbury
Eyreville: Archaeology of the Late Seventeenth Century by Haley Hoffman
Eyre Hall: Power House by Carl Lounsbury
Working the Land by Sam Florer
The Bounty of Eyre Hall: From Working Plantation to Summer Retreat in the Long Nineteenth Century by Carl Lounsbury
Escaping Enslavement by Whaleboat, 1832 by Alexandra Rosenberg
Health Retreats and Pleasure Grounds by Robert Watkins
Hoofprints by Elizabeth Palms
Eyre Hall in the Twentieth Century: ‘I’m Home’ by George McDaniel
A Scrapbook of Recollections by Those Who Called Eyre Hall ‘Home’ by George McDanielII

II. Architecture
The Architecture of the House by Carl Lounsbury
Architectural Hardware by Edward Chappell
Wallpaper by Margaret Pritchard
Domestic Service Buildings by Carl Lounsbury
Home Farm: Overseer’s House by Carl Lounsbury

III. Landscape
Garden and Grounds by Will Rieley
Green-house by Will Rieley
Graveyard by Carl Lounsbury

IV. Catalogue
Furniture by Sumpter Priddy
Silver by Mark Letzer
Ceramics by Robert Hunter and Angelika Kuettner
Glass by Angelika Kuettner
Paintings by Laura Pass Barry
Maps by Katie McKinney
Prints by Katie McKinney
Books by Bennie Brown
Musical Instruments by John Watson
Sheet Music by Gary Stanton
Costume and Textiles by Neal Hurst
Ironwork and Arms by Erik Goldstein

Photo Credits

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