London's historic houses and domestic interiors have suffered greater loss and change than most of their provincial counterparts due to political and social change, war, and a tradition of continuous rebuilding.
The photographic archive accumulated over the past century by the magazine Country Life forms a remarkable and evocative record of houses as they were.
In this latest collection, the vanished magnificence of the great 18th-century houses of the aristocracy, from the glamorous Rococo interiors of Norfolk House to the Gothic Pomfret Castle.
Other houses are seen at key moments in their history: Robert Adam's Home House occupied by Samuel Courtauld and his celebrated collection of Impressionist masterpieces; the monumental classical interiors of Dorchester House, photographed shortly before they were swept away.
In addition to many images of spectacular turn-of-the-century opulence, the book also reflects fashionable taste between the wars: Lady Diana Cooper's bathroom, Chips Channon's staggering dining room, and Lord and Lady Louis Mountbatten's elegant apartment.