The Long Weekend

The Long Weekend

Life in the English Country House, 1918-1939

Book - 2016
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Baker & Taylor
Uncovers the raucous and glamourous history of English country houses between World War I and World War II through the intrigues of hunting parties and grand balls held by the Astors, the Churchills and the Devonshires.

Perseus Publishing
From an acclaimed social and architectural historian, the tumultuous, scandalous, glitzy, and glamorous history of English country houses and high society during the interwar period

As WWI drew to a close, change reverberated through the halls of England's country homes. As the sun set slowly on the British Empire, the shadows lengthened on the lawns of a thousand stately homes.

In The Long Weekend, historian Adrian Tinniswood introduces us to the tumultuous, scandalous and glamorous history of English country houses during the years between World Wars. As estate taxes and other challenges forced many of these venerable houses onto the market, new sectors of British and American society were seduced by the dream of owning a home in the English countryside. Drawing on thousands of memoirs, letters, and diaries, as well as the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and bibulous butlers, Tinniswood brings the stately homes of England to life as never before, opening the door to a world by turns opulent and ordinary, noble and vicious, and forever wrapped in myth. We are drawn into the intrigues of legendary families such as the Astors, the Churchills and the Devonshires as they hosted hunting parties and balls that attracted the likes of Charlie Chaplin, T.E. Lawrence, and royals such as Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson. We waltz through aristocratic soirées, and watch as the upper crust struggle to fend off rising taxes and underbred outsiders, property speculators and poultry farmers. We gain insight into the guilt and the gingerbread, and see how the image of the country house was carefully protected by its occupants above and below stairs.

Through the glitz of estate parties, the social tensions between old money and new, the hunting parties, illicit trysts, and grand feasts, Tinniswood offers a glimpse behind the veil of these great estates--and reveals a reality much more riveting than the dream.

Book News
Combining scholarship and gossip, Tinnisswood spotlights the period between the two world wars illuminating the gilded, glamorous, tumultuous, and scandalous lifestyles of the crumbling upper crust who struggled to maintain in the face of lost manpower and rising taxes. He reveals the intrigues of the rich and describes them at play with or without celebrities and/or members of the royal family, all the while endeavoring to keep up appearances and hang on to their lovely, historic country homes and multitude of servants. Annotation ©2016 Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR (

& Taylor

"Drawing on thousands of memoirs, unpublished letters and diaries, and the eye-witness testimonies of belted earls and bibulous butlers, historian Adrian Tinniswood brings the stately homes of England to life as never before, opening the door onto a world half-remembered, glamorous, shameful at times, and forever wrapped in myth. The Long Weekend revels in the sheer variety of country house life: from King George V poring over his stamp collection at Sandringham to fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley collecting mistresses at ancestral homes across the nation, from Edward VIII entertaining Wallis Simpson at Fort Belvedere to the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim, whose wife became obsessed with her pet spaniels. Tinniswood reveals what it was really like to live and work in some of the most beautiful houses the world has ever seen during the last great golden age of the English country home"--
Describes the details of life in English country houses between the world wars, including stories of intrigue from such legendary families as the Astors, the Churchills, the Devonshires, and the royal family.

Publisher: New York : Basic Book, c2016
ISBN: 9780465048984
Branch Call Number: 305.52094 TIN
Characteristics: xi, 322 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill. (some col.) ;,25 cm.


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Feb 23, 2017

This book is mostly about the houses themselves in the south of England, rather than their social life, and their demise. Somewhat boring.

Bunny_Watson716 Sep 26, 2016

Conversational in tone, Tinniswood chronicles the changing times in England's country houses and estates during the times of the first and second world wars. An enjoyable look at an unimaginably lavish lifestyle for the average person.

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