Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A class

I'm currently taking a class for the Beau Monde group currently, together with my editor, Gail Northman, and I'm really pleased with the level of enthusiasm and interest.

It's on the English Country House, and we're trying to show how important these beautiful places are to our history as well as our heritage. The country house wasn't just a showpiece, although this was an important part of its function, it was Head Office.

The aristocratic title held a horde of enterprises under its broad canopy. Farms, agricultural concerns, mineral resources, but also building schemes, investments in new ventures and old, and many other concerns. Embodied in the person of the peer, the holder of the title, so many people worked, directly and indirectly, for the concern that he wasn't just a peer, he was the Chairman of the Board.

If you describe it as this to a modern person, things then become a lot clearer. Although it isn't a direct analogy, it's a valid comparison. When the Chairman was a vigorous, interested, clever person, the title, the investments and the country prospered, but when he was weak, unless a suitable deputy could be found, everything began to deteriorate.

So in describing these Head Offices we're trying to show how important these institutions were to the country in the Georgian period. Not just beautiful places, they were vital to the country's economy.

powered by performancing firefox

No comments: