Featuring royal residences and aristocratic splendors such as Blenheim Palace and Highclere Castle - the setting for Downton Abbey - this wonderful publication delves into the history of some of Britain's most famous historic houses. Secrets of the Manor House provides a fascinating insight into life at these splendid properties down the centuries and profiles the celebrated personalities who have left their mark on these architectural masterpieces.
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Interesting and informative
An interesting and informative summary of some of the stately homes the British Isles, and Ireland.
This audiobook was very well narrated and gave a brief glimpse into the lives of the great but, in some cases, not so good, of bygone eras. It contains some amazing snipits of information, for example the stately house where Downton Abbey was filmed really was used as a hospital during the war. I was a bit disappointed that there were no little anecdodes about the Irish houses.
- Amazon Customer
Delightful Gem Describing Historic Estates.
Secrets of the Manor House by Hilary Brown is aptly titled, as it's a delightful gem describing the various grand country estates of Great Britain. Besides several large English estates, there are few from Scotland and one in Northern Ireland as well. What I enjoyed most are anecdotes about the scandals and famous happenings over the centuries. For example, Lady Diana's ancestral home is featured and her Spencer ancestors, as is Highclere castle, which is the setting for Downtown Abbey. I found it quite interesting that several plot points in Downtown Abbey came from the history of the Highclere's estate - like housing wounded soldiers from WWI.
Melanie Fraser narrated this Audible version and she was outstanding. Her crisp British accent and soft refined tones were perfect for this audio and really set the stage for imagining a tour of these fine estates. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a Whispersync'd version so I could view photos of the grounds and interiors of the manor houses described while listening along. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys exploring many of England's historical sites.