The Country House Revisited: Variations on a Theme from Forster to Hollinghurst Tereza Topolovska
From Howard's End to Brideshead Revisited, this book explores the leitmotif of the English country house in twentieth- and twenty-first-century fiction, with a focus on the works of E. M. Forster, Evelyn Waugh, Iris Murdoch, Alan Hollinghurst, and Sarah Waters. Integrating wider social and cultural contexts with contemporary architectural developments, Tereza Topolovska reveals that the variety of literary depictions of the country house reflects the physical diversification of buildings that can be classified as such, from smaller variants to formerly grand residences on the brink of physical collapse. Within the scope of contemporary fiction, architecture, and poetics of space, the country house-with its uniquely integrating and exceptionally evocative qualities-accentuates different conceptions of dwelling. Consequently, literary portrayals of the country house can be seen as both prefiguring and reflecting the contemporary practice of living.