Life in the French Country House

Mark Girouard

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Life in the French Country House

Life in the French Country House Mark Girouard author of Life in the English Country House and other superb books extends his realm to France in this perceptive and witty portrait of the upper classes at home in their ch teaux man

  • Title: Life in the French Country House
  • Author: Mark Girouard
  • ISBN: 9780679427117
  • Page: 119
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Mark Girouard, author of Life in the English Country House and other superb books, extends his realm to France in this perceptive and witty portrait of the upper classes at home in their ch teaux, manoirs, and gentilhommi res.In these lavishly illustrated pages we experience all the variety and beauty of the ch teaux We learn how they reflected, in their decoration and orMark Girouard, author of Life in the English Country House and other superb books, extends his realm to France in this perceptive and witty portrait of the upper classes at home in their ch teaux, manoirs, and gentilhommi res.In these lavishly illustrated pages we experience all the variety and beauty of the ch teaux We learn how they reflected, in their decoration and organization, the manners and s of their occupants how the different rooms were lived in, how changes in taste accommodated the waxing and waning fortunes of the aristocracy and then the bourgeoisie , how design and architecture evolved to serve changing lifestyles and values The grim fortified donjons of old developed into the extravagant towers in which late medieval seigneurs lived in luxury and splendor In the time of Francis I and his successors, the romance of chivalry infused with Renaissance culture the pageantry of balls and masques in the grande salle, the cultivation of privacy in richly decorated cabinets and galleries In the ancien r gime, the ch teau offered intimate conversations in seventeenth century alcoves, amorous encounters in Louis Quinze boudoirs, the pleasures of private theatricals, and the refined social life of the salon After the Revolution, the noblesse returned to its medieval roots, but brought old values up to date with plush upholstered sofas, potted palms, and parks in the English manner Seriousness was diluted by the extravagant entertainments of the Belle Epoque, and in our own time nostalgia combines with a dogged fight for survival.Mr Girouard is as a marvelous guide to downstairs as he is to upstairs, showing us how the kitchens operated, how the stables were organized, how the servants were provided for, as well as how developments in lighting, plumbing, and water supply affected everyone s comfort and customs He has explored scores of French houses, as well as the letters and diaries, inventories, and books of etiquette that give us an intimate sense of what it meant to inhabit a French country house.For everyone who has visited or dreamed of the French countryside, this endlessly appealing book will bring to life that storied place and its people.

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      Posted by:Mark Girouard
      Published :2018-07-20T01:20:52+00:00

    One thought on “Life in the French Country House

    1. Angela on said:

      I first came across this book some years ago in its French guise as 'La Vie dans les Châteaux Français, du Moyen Age à nos Jours'. I did think about buying it there and then, but decided that an English version would make more sense - once I'd finished with it I could search out a new and deserving home for it. The same book in French would prove more difficult to pass on or sell. Several months and bookshop searches later I carried my long awaited possession home and found an appropriate slo [...]

    2. Mary Catelli on said:

      I read this in combination with Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History and am discussing them together. . . .Both books start out with the medieval houses and households of lords and kings and lesser gentlemen and trace the history up to modern times. Which means, naturally, that they also trace the fortunes and practices of the nobility who lived in them. Not the same information for both. For instance, he talks about how one was supposed to become a French marqui [...]

    3. Michael Smith on said:

      The author’s Life in the English Country House has become a classic of domestic anthropology, an examination of the British aristocracy and landed gentry through an exploration of its preferred places of residence. When I became aware of this successor volume (it’s not a “sequel”) shortly after it first appeared, I had my doubts. I know enough about the history of the upper classes in Britain, compared to nobility on the Continent, to be aware of the very great differences between them, [...]

    4. Eric on said:

      God, I live for books like this. The little bits picked up skimming were fascinating and provoking: the medieval towers and moats that were retained alongside italianate renovations in order to preserve "the silhouette of traditional seignorial power"; the discussion of cabinets and boudoirs, from which Girouard expands into a notice of the "gentle eroticism" signified by the female toilette in 18th century French literature and painting.

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