Great Houses of Scotland

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Random House Incorporated, 1997 - 272 pages
Great Houses of Scotland presents 26 historic castles and manors in the land of ancient legend that inspired Sir Walter Scott and Shakespeare's Macbeth. Over 300 rich color photographs take the reader beyond the velvet ropes and through the grand public drawing rooms, private bedrooms, and back stairways of Scotland's famous houses.

From formal, gilded halls to rustic trophy rooms, the range of interior styles reflects the personality of Scotland's foremost families. Charming anecdotes and candid character sketches of the famed individuals who built these houses make this a fascinating social history as well as an architectural tour.

The selection of houses reflects the development of architectural style in Scotland, from old tower houses such as Cawdor and Traquair to the spectacular baroque of Drumlanrig and the pioneering Classicism of Kinross by Sir William Bruce. The masterful architecture of William Adam is highlighted here, including his work on Arniston, the House of Dun, and the palatial Duff House. Besides such beloved favorites as Sir Walter Scott's Abbotsford, Blair, Hopetoun, and Mellerstain, the book is full of remarkable surprises, including the High Victorian Gothic extravaganza of the newly restored Mount Stuart, and the Edwardian opulence of Ardkinglas. The Scottish ability to combine intimacy and grandeur has never been more glorious than in the silver staircase, marble dairy, and teak stable of Manderston; Dunrobin Castle perches on cliff's edge as if in a fairy tale-- the inimitable character of each historic house shines in this beautiful book.

With encouraging plans for restoration and revitalization by the present owners-- the National Galleries of Scotland's initiative to restore Duff House as a satellite gallery, plans for an opera school at Yester, the rejuvenation of a brewery at Traquair-- this is a timely chronicle of the living history of these great houses.

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About the author (1997)

Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd is one of Britain's foremost experts on historic houses. He instigated and edited the acclaimed four-volume Guide to Country Houses, which covered over 5,000 family seats in the British Isles. He wrote a weekly Heritage column for twenty years, first for The Field and then for The Daily Telegraph. He has written numerous books, including Great Houses of England & Wales (Rizzoli, 1994).

Christopher Simon Sykes specializes in the photography of architecture and interiors. His work is featured in Rizzoli's Great Houses of England & Wales, and appears regularly in many international magazines, including The World of Interiors, House and Garden, Vogue, and Vanity Fair.

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