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'London Interiors from the Archives of Country Life' by John Cornforth

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.

John Cornforth

Atrium Press


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