Author: John Martin Robinson (Edited and introduction by)
About this book:
Facsimile Edition of the 1844-5 Handbook to Chatsworth published by Frederic Shoberl Jr., “the most delightful and informative historic description of an English country house”.
William Cavendish, the charming and extravagant 6th Duke of Devonshire (1790-1858), was greatly interested in the history of his family and of Chatsworth, and in 1844 he privately printed a delightful Handbook of his home intended primarily for family and friends. It was written in the first person and addressed to the Duke’s sister Harriet, Countess Granville. He opens 'Dearest Harriet…my plan is to suppose that you are just arrived, and that I show you every room and corner of the house' – a house they had both known and loved since infancy.
Stoker Devonshire, the current Duke, has recently published a facsimile edition of the Handbook to mark his membership of the Roxburghe Club, edited by John Martin Robinson, the acclaimed architectural historian.
“The [original] book is extremely rare. The [Sixth] Duke referred to the small number of copies in a postscript. He intended them as gifts to his near relations. Only twelve octavo copies are thought to have been produced originally and some of these have disappeared. The Duke also commissioned two large-paper copies for himself which are now in the Library at Chatsworth”.
This finely produced facsimile has been taken from the copy formerly at Castle Howard and now at Chatsworth. The 6th Duke’s additions and changes recorded in manuscript in his personal working copy have been included in the wide margins of this edition together with notes explaining the well-known people and places mentioned. These are augmented by the Duke’s notes and brief additional biographical sketches at the end; watercolour illustrations from the large-paper Chatsworth copy of the Handbook and the Devonshire Collections are included.
250 x 265mm. full grey leather based on a binding design on a copy at Chatsworth known as the Duchess’s Copy. The endpapers’ design taken from a detail of the curtains in the library at Chatsworth.
“The production of this volume – which has been entirely the work of John Martin Robinson, our esteemed Secretary, and Robert Dalrymple, the designer, with help from Fran Baker, our Archivist and Librarian – has given me as an idle spectator enormous pleasure. I am delighted that this intimate description of Chatsworth by this charming man will now reach a much wider audience. It stands in its plain-speaking glory fulfilling the 6th Duke’s idea of producing an illustrated larger paper volume of the Handbook” (Foreword by the Duke of Devonshire)
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