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Publisher's Summary

As World War I drew to a close, change reverberated through the halls of England's country homes. As the sun set slowly on the British Empire, the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes. In The Long Weekend, historian Adrian Tinniswood introduces us to the tumultuous, scandalous, and glamorous history of English country houses during the years between world wars. As estate taxes and other challenges forced many of these venerable houses onto the market, new sectors of British and American society were seduced by the dream of owning a home in the English countryside. Drawing on thousands of memoirs, letters, and diaries as well as the eyewitness testimonies of belted earls and bibulous butlers, Tinniswood brings the stately homes of England to life as never before, opening the door to a world by turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, and forever wrapped in myth. Through the glitz of estate parties, the social tensions between old money and new, the hunting parties, illicit trysts, and grand feasts, Tinniswood offers a glimpse behind the veil of these great estates - and reveals a reality much more riveting than the dream.

©2016 Adrian Tinniswood (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Informative and entertaining." ( Library Journal)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Eileen
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 08-06-17

Not What I Thought I Was

The first chapter delivers on the promise of an excellent idea- and then the book wanders off into a plodding list of lost properties. Informational if you can sit through it, otherwise an excellent sleep aid

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Informational but a little dry at times

This snapshot of English country life, at times, demonstrates the wit and scandal fans of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey may expect. But at times it runs dry as a recitation of several example great houses emphasizing a point. When the book focuses on a single great estate or family it's at its strongest.

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primarily a book of architecture

A very misleading title as very little of county life and tradition is described. Disappointing.