Country House Secrets

Country House Secrets

Ruth Binney
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Behind closed doors

With a foreword by Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey who concludes that: `This is the world that Ruth Binney has brought so wonderfully to life in her book'.

Inside the country house, what exactly were the duties of the master's valet and the lady's maid? How did these fit into the daily routine? And what were the protocols for visitors?

The answers to these, and many more questions, are revealed in this entertaining and intimate guide to the self-contained world of the country house. Here you'll learn the rules of etiquette essential both upstairs and down -for both residents and visitors -marvel at the intricacies of housekeeping, and enter a bygone age of hunts, house parties and grand balls. All these aspects of country house life, and many more, are introduced here through the contemporary maxims used to instruct the members of the household and their guests, from running a large kitchen to entertaining royalty. Each is brought to life with both practical detail and direct, compelling quotes and illustrations from period manuals and advice books, giving every entry a totally authentic feel and `voice'.

Rounding off the book is an informative list of houses to visit, stressing the features that relate directly to the descriptions included in the book.