Wenlock Abbey 1857-1919: A Shropshire Country House and the Milnes Gaskell Family by Cynthia Gamble
Wenlock Abbey 1857-1919: A Shropshire Country House and the Milnes Gaskell family traces the transformation of a neglected abbot's lodging into a country house with a celebrated cultural salon at its heart. The Abbey's medieval setting proved a magnet for Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Henry Adams and Samuel Lawrence. Amongst others. Dr Cynthia Gamble explores the Abbey's rich architectural and artistic heritage, and examines the lives of the Milnes Gaskells whose social milieu included Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Gladstone, Browning, F.T. Palgrave and Philip Webb.
The phenomenal popular success of the television series Downton Abbey has inspired a new interest in English country house life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The story of Wenlock Abbey and the Milnes Gaskell family caters for that interest. This fascinating, evocative and scrupulously researched book examines the public and private lives of the Milnes Gaskell family, revealing the details of their famous literary and political salon frequented by many of the great names of Victorian society. It also explores the design and layout of the house and the creation of its unique gardens. The book is a remarkable slice of English social and cultural history.
Jeffrey Richards, Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University
ISBN 978-0-9930073-1-6 publication October 2015
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