London Interiors: From the Archives of Country Life
John CornforthISBN: 1845134338; 978-1-84513-433-4;
London's historic houses and domestic interiors have suffered greater loss and change than most of their provincial counterparts due to political and social change, war, and a tradition of continuous rebuilding. The photographic archive accumulated over the past century by the magazine Country Life forms a remarkable and evocative record of houses as they were. In this latest collection, the vanished magnificence of the great 18th-century houses of the aristocracy, from the glamorous Rococo interiors of Norfolk House to the Gothic Pomfret Castle. Other houses are seen at key moments in their history: Robert Adam's Home House occupied by Samuel Courtauld and his celebrated collection of Impressionist masterpieces; the monumental Classical interiors of Dorchester House, photographed shortly before they were swept away. In addition to many images of spectacular turn-of-the-century opulence, the book also reflects fashionable taste between the wars: Lady Diana Cooper's bathroom, Chips...