• Noble Ambitions

  • The Fall and Rise of the English Country House After World War II
  • By: Adrian Tinniswood
  • Narrated by: Roger May
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Europe
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A rollicking tour of the English country home after World War II, when swinging London collided with aristocratic values.

As the sun set slowly on the British Empire, its mansions fell and rose. Ancient families were reduced to demolishing the parts of their stately homes they could no longer afford, dukes and duchesses desperately clung to their ancestral seats, and a new class of homeowners bought their way into country life. A delicious romp, Noble Ambitions pulls us into these crumbling halls of power, leading us through the juiciest bits of postwar aristocratic history - from Mick Jagger dancing at deb balls to the scandals of Princess Margaret. Capturing the spirit of the age, historian Adrian Tinniswood proves that the country house is not only an iconic symbol, but a lens through which to understand the shifting fortunes of the British elite in an era of monumental social change.

©2021 Adrian Tinniswood (P)2021 Basic Books

Critic Reviews

"The English country house epitomizes so much in British social and political history.... Devoted fans of Downton Abbey will appreciate that Tinniswood’s history takes the fate of these country houses past the series’ conclusion in the 1920s.” (Booklist)

“Vividly evoking the glamour and ruin of post-imperial England, this winning survey is well-stocked with intriguing historical tidbits.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A highly enjoyable, gossipy read with a gasp on every page; a must for the bedside tables of every guest bedroom, and every stately home gift shop.” (Mary S. Lovell, author of The Sisters)

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Story could be told in a 10th of the time

I didn’t finish. The subject is interesting to me but the story is drawn out with the details of the history of just a few houses. I just got bored.