Publisher description for The intellectual culture of the English country house, 1500-1700 / edited by Matthew Dimmock, Andrew Hadfield and Margaret Healy.

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The Intellectual Culture of the English Country House is a ground-breaking collection of essays by leading and emerging scholars, which uncovers the vibrant intellectual life of early modern provincial England. The essays in the volume explore architectural planning; libraries and book collecting; landscape gardening; interior design; the history of science and scientific experimentation; and the collection of portraits and paintings.

The essays demonstrate the significance of the English country house and its place within larger local cultures that it helped to create and shape. The contributors survey and analyse a wide range of major English country houses; Knole House, Castle Howard, Petworth House, Penshurst Place, Hill Hall, and Lanhydrock House. Two essays reconstruct lost country houses from the surviving documentation; Otford Palace and Rycote House. The volume concludes with three essays which make up an in-depth case study of Wilton House, one of the principal residences of the Earls of Pembroke, where Sir Philip Sidney probably wrote the Arcadia. Taken together these essays provide a substantial overview of the country house culture of early modern England and the complicated relationship between the provinces and the national, the country and the city, in a period of rapid social, intellectual and economic transformation.

The volume contains a new overview by Maurice Howard, President of the Society of Antiquaries, and reflections on the significance of the country house today by three professionals working with the National Trust. It will appeal to anyone interested in the culture of the country house and its place in early modern England.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Country homes -- England -- History -- 16th century -- Congresses.
Country homes -- England -- History -- 17th century -- Congresses.
England -- Social life and customs -- 16th century -- Congresses.
England -- Social life and customs -- 17th century -- Congresses.