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The House Party

Adrian Tinniswood

A delightful journey through the glamorous story of the English country house party by the bestselling historian.

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A delightful journey through the glamorous story of the English country house party by the bestselling historian.

Croquet. Parlour games. Cocktails.
Welcome to a glorious journey through the golden age of the country house party – and you are invited.

Our host, celebrated historian Adrian Tinniswood, traces the evolution of this quintessentially British pastime from debauched royal tours to the flamboyant excess of the Bright Young Things. With cameos by the Jazz Age industrialist, the bibulous earl and the off-duty politician – whether in moated manor houses or ornate Palladian villas – Tinniswood gives a vivid insight into weekending etiquette and reveals the hidden lives of celebrity guests, from Nancy Astor to Winston Churchill, in all their drinking, feasting, gambling and fornicating.

The result is a deliciously entertaining, star-studded, yet surprisingly moving portrait of a time when social conventions were being radically overhauled through the escapism of a generation haunted by war – and a uniquely fast-living period of English history.

Praise for The Long Weekend:

‘Delicious, occasionally fantastical, revealing in ways that Downton Abbey never was. It is as if Tinniswood is at the biggest, wildest, most luxuriantly decadent party ever thrown, and he knows everyone.’ Observer

‘A deliciously jaunty and wonderfully knowledgeable book… Tinniswood displays a terrific insider’s grasp of gossip … A meticulous, irresistible story.’

‘Elegant, encyclopedic and entertaining … A confident and skilled historian who understands the mores of his era and wears his learning lightly … Deserves to be on every costume drama producer’s bookshelf.’ Times


Adrian Tinniswood is the bestselling author of fifteen books of social and architectural history. A Senior Research Fellow at University of Buckingham and a Visiting Fellow in Heritage and History at Bath Spa University, he worked for and with the National Trust for more than thirty years. In 2013 he was awarded an OBE for services to heritage. @AdeTinniswood

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