The representation of the country house in individual books and guides 1720-1845

Riddy, Paula (2015) The representation of the country house in individual books and guides 1720-1845. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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During the eighteenth century a trend began for the publication of books devoted to the
description of single country house; an early stage in the development of the country
house guidebook. A survey of this largely unanalysed genre found it to be a much
larger phenomenon than had previously been thought, with a peak in new publications
later than has been suggested. The issue of the commission, details of production and
uses and distribution of the guidebook are all previously neglected aspects of research.
Analysis of these has given a greater insight into the context of production, and has
shown the direct involvement of the house owner in many cases. In the secondary
literature which does exist on this genre, the bias towards considering the contents of
guidebook from the perspective of the tourists’ reception, or as an objective document,
neglects the huge potential for analysis of the sub-agendas which were involved in these
publications. These less overt potential messages included a justification of the country
estate in general, as well as more individual markers which related to the house owner
himself. This thesis has begun to rectify the lack of research into the guidebook, and to
highlight this fruitful source of material on the eighteenth and early-nineteenth
centuries. It has begun the innovative task of looking beyond guidebooks as merely a
factual account of the estate, and to acknowledge that their objectivity is in question; the
books were often nuanced towards given a particular impression and motivated by
specific agendas. The house was represented both as an object of admiration in its own
right but also used as a vehicle for the projection and display of the individual qualities
and identity of the owner.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Art History
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z5051 Subject bibliography > Z5931 Fine arts (Visual arts). The arts (General) > Z5941 Architecture > Z5943.A-Z Special topics, A-Z > Z5943.G84 Guidebooks
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 06:25
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:49

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