Tuesday, June 07, 2011

The House: Living at Chatsworth

or Chatsworth: The House

The book I read is The House: Living at Chatsworth by the Duchess of Devonshire. This book was revised in 2002, and published as Chatsworth: The House, by the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire. Of course, the authors are the same; the former Deborah Mitford (one of the famous Mitford sisters) was the Duchess of Devonshire in the 1980s when she wrote the book originally. By the time the book was rereleased, her husband had died, leaving their son to be the Duke, his wife to be the duchess, and Deborah to be the Dowager Duchess.

I dearly love a book that is a slice of life not my own. The Duchess's engaging style illuminates the world of Chatsworth, one of the Great Houses of England. Chatsworth has avoided becoming part of the National Trust, and has made itself a travel destination, with tours, a shop, restaurants and accommodations. She covers the house in magnificent detail, which makes the book worthwhile by itself, but her irrepressible personality makes it real, not just a house, but a house inhabited by a duchess, with delightful anecdotes, such as the one about trying to buy a picture at auction, being outbid, and so framing the catalog picture and hanging it on her wall so she could enjoy it every day.

I cannot say how the updated version is. But it's worth checking into. And I will.


Post a Comment

<< Home