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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ASHENDEN by ELIZABETH WILHIDE

Ashenden


Initially I thought this was going to be something like a Downton Abbey read but it was nothing like that at all. 

The book went beyond just historical facts of two centuries past. It dealt with real lives of the people who inhabited this beautiful house and how it passed from one family to the next. 

The lives of those who occupied this house were complicated by tragedies, bad gambling debts and wars but the house itself had "good bones" as it were and lingered on. At times neglected badly, falling into ruin, the roof gone, dry rot everywhere Ashendon somehow managed to survive, attracting someone who fell in love with the house and turned it once again into a proper home.

Beginning in 1775 with the actual construction of the house and how the stone was quarried and brought to this area and then how each family came into the house and the history of each family, whether just rich tradesmen or aristocratic how they each made it their own till it passed on to another family. I only knew of the author's architectural background once I read this book and then discovered how beautifully those details are incorporated into this story.

The ending was a bit sad for me but this is life as it is. 

A really good book. 

2 comments:

Nise' said...

I am glad you enjoyed this book. It is on my stacks.

Amused said...

When I saw the cover I thought Downton Abbey too! Glad to hear it was an enjoyable read!