During the golden age of English country house entertaining, from the death of Prince Albert in 1861 to the outbreak of World War I, invitations passed back and forth among members of the aristocracy. Barstow brings to life the personalities and lifestyles of a vanished age in this carefully researched and illustrated study. International royalty and the political figures of the day also feature, none more memorably than the Shah of Persia, who offered to buy the Marchioness of Londonderry and advised the Prince of Wales to execute the Duke of Sutherland when he became king. The text reveals the social and political importance of the house party and also describes the role of the country house in its local and national setting. The decline of country house living after World War I and the beginnings of the National Trust and other efforts to save for the nation these former playgrounds of the elite form the concluding chapters.
Used availability for Phyllida Barstow's The English Country House Party
October 1989 : UK Hardback
April 1998 : UK Paperback