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The Gentleman’s Farm/Elegant Country House Living

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The Gentleman’s Farm/Elegant Country House Living by Laurie Ossman and Debra A. McClane
Virginians especially will enjoy this beautiful assortment of stately homes from across the Commonwealth, with descriptive text accompanied by full-color photos by Walter Smalling, Jr. Many of the homes, especially in Part 1 (“Establishing an American Tradition”), are open to the public, such as Shirley Plantation, Mount Vernon, Monticello, Poplar Forest, and Stratford Hall. Less familiar estates are Eyre Hall, Oak Hill, and Berry Hill. Part 2, “Reinventing and Refining Tradition,” contains fewer public spaces (Morven Park in Loudoun and the Marriott Ranch in Fauquier County), offering the beauties of Castle Hill, Edgewood, North Wales, Edgemont, Oak Spring Farm and Rokeby Stables that are off-limits under normal circumstances, unless they should chance to be opened during Garden Week. Part 3, “Sustaining the Tradition,” offers a peek at Mount Sharon, Mount Pleasant, Peace & Plenty at Bollingbrook, Elway Hall, Ayrshire Farm, and the Farm at Sunnyside, with only Barboursville Vineyards and Salamander Resort and Spa having public access. It’s too bad no credit was given identifying the cantering hunt that has pride of place on the book’s endpapers! The riders displaying colors show a deep yellow, there are no scarlet coats, only black, and no hounds. Both Piedmont and Loudoun-Fairfax have “old gold” colors, so this may be some members from either of those hunts; the Blue Ridge Mountains are clearly in the background. Hardcover, 272pp.

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