27 September 2016


Rule Britania 
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

While my favorite books about houses and lifestyle are Horst and Lawfords', a new book  GREAT HOUSE, MODERN ARISTOCRATS, stands out as an absolute treasure in the release of new books being published this Fall. The book by James Reginato, the writer whose stories are often within the pages of Vanity Fair and gifted photographer Jonathan Becker, the books' principal photographer, have given readers a reason to read, and to immerse ourselves in the pages of a truly beautiful book. That said, it's appropriate to mention the editor of this book is also my editor—Philip Reeser. It also behooves me to note editors should share the covers of books, certainly my book coming in the Spring. Philip has been integral in my book, and his expertise is unassailable.

Blenheim Palace
One of the Saloons at Blenheim with murals by  Laguerre.

The Grand Dame of Modern Aristocrats was definitely the Duchess of Devonshire—Deborah Cavendish. Entrepreneur, author, wit, Mitford sister, and certainly the most famous poulterer ever, the book finds the late Dowager Duchess ensconced in a tidy nest, The Old Vicarage at Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

Sensible Shoes, Chintz, and— Letters from Oxford Hugh Trevor-Roper to Bernard Berenson, Mellon: An American Life, and Flowers: Jo Self.

Lisemore Castle~ the realm of the Earl of Burlington, William Devonshire, in Ireland
The very proper Drawing Room of Lismore doesn't reflect the dynamic works of art the Earl has added to the Castle rooms. The modern art is indicative of the new life the handsome couple-William and Laura Cavendish has interjected into the property. This room was designed by A.W. N. Pugin and Joseph Paxton in the mid-nineteenth century.

Luggala, County Wicklow, Ireland 

Luggala's beautiful Drawing Room was decorated and restored by David Mlinaric and his associate Amanda Douglas. Another Pugin room, Mlinaric used a hand blocked wallpaper designed by Pugin called Gothic Lily—part of the Cole & Son archive.

Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats is a must have (exaggerated?)
Definitely Not.
It is substantive and beautiful. It will be one of those books you will return to time and again—and again.
Some of the additional properties included are: Dudley House in London (44, 000 square feet), Haddon Hall, Clandeboye, Houghton Hall, Dumfries-home of the Prince of Wales, and from the cover and perhaps my favorite is St. Giles House in Dorset.

 Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats by James Reginato, Rizzoli New York, 2016. The above images by Johnathan Becker were provided to me by Rizzoli and should not be used without permission from the publisher.


  1. As an Anglophile, I'd love that book. And, that cover...

  2. Trevor-Roper's Letters to Berenson represent one of his finest collections and substantiate, as the dust jacket attests, their recipient's opinion that he was one of the finest correspondents of his age. Warmth, ambition, astounding learning, wit, a responsible determination to be sympathetic and amusing while candid and unabashedly brash, they burst with room-filling élan. Of course, she knew him; he collected Duchesses and made no bones about it. And of course they'll find you a copy at her family's book shop in Curzon Street.



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