Stephanie BarczewskiAug 23, 2023
How the Country House Became English
How the Country House Became English (Reaktion, 2023) by Dr. Stephanie Barczewski is an exploration of the evolution of the quintessentially English country house.
Country houses have come to be regarded as quintessentially English, not only in terms of their architectural style but because they appear to embody national values of continuity and insularity. The histories of country houses and England, however, have featured episodes of violence and disruption, so how did country houses come to represent one version of English history, when in reality they reflect its full range of contradictions and complexities? This book explores the evolution of the country house, beginning with the violent impact of the Reformation and Civil War and showing how the political events of the eighteenth century, which culminated in the reaction against the French Revolution, led to country houses being recast as symbols of England’s political stability.
This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.