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ISBN-10: 1910821314
ISBN-13: 978-1910821312


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Country House Secrets: Behind Closed Doors

‘This is the world that Ruth Binney has brought so wonderfully to life in her book’. Praise from foreword writer Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey. COMING SOON – THE AUDIO EDITION OF THIS FASCINATING BOOK, READ BY RUTH HERSELF. Enter the intimate word of the country house, explore every aspect of life upstairs and down, and find the answers to such questions as these: • What exactly were the duties of the master’s valet and the lady’s maid – and all the other servants? • How did these fit into the daily routine of the house? • What were the protocols for visitors and residents? And what happened to those who broke the rules? • How was the house – including all its outbuidlings – designed to fulfill every need of family and staff? • What kinds of dishes were prepared in the kitchen, and how did these vary with the occasion and the season? • How were royal visits handled with perfect etiquette? • What games, entertainments and sports were most enjoyed? • How were musical evenings, house parties and grand balls organized and run? • How were the gardens designed and managed to provide fresh food all year? • Which exotic fruits were grown in orangeries and conservatories? 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’.