The Georgian London Town House: Building, Collecting and Display by Dr Kate Retford (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK)
For every great country house of the Georgian period, there was usually also a town house. Chatsworth, for example, the home of the Devonshires, has officially been recognised as one of the country's favourite national treasures - but most of its visitors know little of Devonshire House, which the family once owned in the capital. In part, this is because town houses were often leased, rather than being passed down through generations as country estates were. But, most crucially, many London town houses, including Devonshire House, no longer exist, having been demolished in the early twentieth century. This book seeks to place centre-stage the hugely important yet hitherto overlooked town houses of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, exploring the prime position they once occupied in the lives of families and the nation as a whole. It explores the owners, how they furnished and used these properties, and how their houses were judged by the various types of visitor who gained access.