The Country House Revisited

Variations on a Theme from Forster to Hollinghurst

Tereza Topolovská

The Country House Revisited

Tereza Topolovská

Distributed for Karolinum Press, Charles University

178 pages | 5 x 8 | © 2017
Paper $18.00 ISBN: 9788024636726 Published November 2018 Not for sale in the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic
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 Topolovská 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.
Review Quotes
Rudolf Weiss, University of Vienna
“With its far-ranging references to numerous texts, both fictional and scholarly, from the country house poem and Thoreau’s Walden to contemporary websites, the book ingeniously situates the novels in a broader context. . . . A rewarding read. This well-researched and original integrative study presents new insights into the fictional representation of the English country house, a genre with a long tradition which continues to attract the literary imagination.”
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