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'Great Irish Houses And Castles'

From the earliest castle strongholds to the impressive creations of the high Victorian era, Ireland's magnificent architectural heritage is richly portrayed here as never before.

Splendid new photographs, many taken from the air, present a breathtaking selection of more than 70 important properties.

Key masterpieces have been included from every period: the imposing medieval fortification of Dunsany Castle; the first piece of domestic architecture at Carrick on-Suir: a wealth of grand country houses built in the elegant Palladian style, such as Castletown, Russborough, and Powerscourt; virtuoso works from the Regency period, including Mount Stewart, Barons Court, and Castle Coole; and inventive Gothic Revival houses built in the fashionable crenellated style, such as the magnificent Glin and Tullynally castles.

While these buildings have been chosen for their outstanding architectural interest, others, like Abbey Leix, have been selected for their sumptuous interiors.

Jacqueline O'Brien's more than 300 full-color photographs capture not only aerial and landscape views of the houses and gardens, but also the wealth of interior detail and furnishings.

Desmond Guinness's stimulating and lively text offers much new information.

Together, they reveal how the cumulative effects of architecture, plasterwork, paneling, furniture, paintings, and silver, allied to fascinating family traditions, have endowed each of the great houses and castles with a character all its own.

An invaluable list of architects and craftsmen who worked in Ireland - including Richard Castle, Robert Adam, James Gandon, Sir Richard Morrison, and Michael Stapleton - and a special section on Irish decorative arts complete this unparalleled volume.

Jacqueline O'Brien

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