Castles in the Air is a beautifully written, autobiographical story of rescuing an ancient mansion. Gwydir Castle was inhabited by ravers and rats until Judy Corbett and her husband Peter Welford found and acquired this 500-year-old house mouldering in the foothills of Snowdonia. Despite the toads, strange smells and squatters, they decided to mortgage themselves to the hilt to bring the castle back to life.
This is an evocatively written and genuinely moving book and is infused with an extraordinary sense of place. The couple's adventures in a gothic wonderland lead them through plots both supernatural and historical. In a museum storeroom in a Bronx warehouse they find a missing room, in the castle's Solar Tower the ghost of a young woman appears and from the far edges of the woods a silent man called Sven emerges to befriend the couple and their beloved castle.
©2003 Judy Corbett (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks
I am about to finish this book, and am tempted to start right back at the beginning again. If you've ever dreamed of restoring a ruinous old manor house and making it your home, this is the book for you. A true story, warts and all, written in a strong voice with intelligent dry wit. Highly recommend.
This is a longtime favorite of mine, and it was a pleasure to find an audio version. It's a fabulous story, especially for us Anglophile non-fiction lovers. Loads of atmosphere, and a great book.
Judy, of course.
Posh, formal, proper.
I'd read it several times before hearing the audio, so there were no surprises.
Charlotte Strevens's voice was quite a bit more formal (and a bit older) that what I would have expected for the story of a young, adventurous couple who literally camp out in their derelict castle. Still, I enjoyed it.
Very well done. This is a story of an old house (and I mean old) in Wales, and the restoration of it. The struggles, joys and experiences of the people restoring the house as well as the story of the house, including the unearthed skeleton, and incumbent ghost. Please note it is not a ghost story, outside of the standard ghost that come with any old castle.
I actually found it to short, when it ended I found myself wanting it continue and hear more for I know there had to have been more to tell. That is honestly the reason it doesn't have 5 stars.
Well written, interesting and highly entertaining book. It is full of descriptions and stories - some horrifying and many amusing. The book did not inspire me to take up castle renovations (rather the reverse!) but definitely left me wanting to know what had happened since the end of the book. A great armchair read. The excellent narrator added to the enjoyment. I will certainly be recommending this book to my friends. (It would also be great fun to book a night in one of the guest rooms!)
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