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Stowe House

Stowe House

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Book DescriptionStowe House has been called "the largest and most completely realized private neo-classical building in the world." The extraordinary family who built and re-built Stowe played a crucial role in the arts and politics of the Georgian age. Four prime ministers came from this or the closely related Pitt family, and with them and their house were associated a roll-call of artistic figures--among them Pope, Horace Walpole, Vanburgh, Kent, Adam, and Sloane. An incredibly ambitious show-palace of more than 400 rooms, shaped and developed by many hands, Stowe played a defining role in the history of English taste.

This comprehensive guide to Stowe House (which fortunately is richly documented) gives an account not only of the great State rooms but also of the remainder of the house and its outbuildings and courtyards now so well known to the resident pupils of the present Stowe School. There are references, too, to the splendid contents, mostly dispersed in three major sales in the 19th and 20th centuries. Watercolors and fine archival photographs help to illustrate the house’s glory, while chapters on Stowe School and on the current ambitious restoration project shed light on Stowe’s recent history and its future.