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Sintesi dell'editore

One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Co-written with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width.

In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, “this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton’s Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries.”

Public Domain (P)2000 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

“The practical advice, with its emphasis on simplicity, still has a wide application. A book with enduring appeal.” ( Kirkus Reviews)
“Wharton and Codman took a reformist stance, suggesting that clients stop treating the interiors and the exteriors of their houses as separate projects and start seeking more simplicity and less ornament. Wharton had an opportunity to play architect and decorator herself in Lenox, Massachusetts, where (with the help of professionals) she built the Mount, a Georgian mansion with a cascade of beautiful gardens. She wrote to her sometime lover Morton Fullerton, ‘Decidedly, I’m a better landscape gardener than novelist, and this place, every line of which is my own work, far surpasses The House of Mirth.’” ( The New Yorker)

Cosa pensano gli ascoltatori di The Decoration of Houses

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  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brian in Lexington KY
  • 21/09/2020

This one would be better in print

The book contains much helpful history and theory about why parts of a house's interior should look this way or that way. Much of it is obsolete (attention to fireplaces, ventilation, servants), but still interesting and even useful.

Grace Conlin is a magnificent enunciator, but she has no connection to the material. She races along at top speed, even though much of the text involves unfamiliar phrases, or details that need to be visualized. At least once per minute, she emphasizes the wrong word in a sentence, actually slowing down the reader's comprehension as you have to backtrack and mentally restage the sentence--and by that time Grace has zoomed ahead a few sentences more.

The book is bulging with foreign names, obscure vocabulary, and quite a few phrases read in this or that European language (untranslated here, as in the original). The reader's foreign accents are hit or miss, and some terms are introduced with one pronunciation only to get a different one when they reappear later. This reader is my least favorite of all I have encountered, because of her apparent lack of understanding of what she's saying.

The book fell out of copyright ago, and it is easy to find print copies online or in physical versions, complete with the illustrations (the book frequently refers to the illustrations as if we were all looking at them). Because the subject is almost entirely visual and some or most of the visual details will be new to many readers, this one is a poor choice for consuming as an audiobook.

3 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • Generale
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Paula C. Grainger
  • 07/04/2021

Interesting possibilities, shame about the details

It is clear that the authors know their stuff, and it could have been so good. But the authors continually use superior tone, referring to our ignorance, then not thinking about their listeners and using European quotes without providing an English translation. Sadly the narrator makes this worse with unnecessary pauses and weird pronunciations.
I deleted the book before finishing it. Between the authors and the narrator they made me too irritated to continue it.

1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 01/05/2022

the Decoration of Houses is a classic

There is so much information in this book. I enjoyed listening to it, but it is a book much better read in print with pictures. It is difficult to have an audio book that discusses the nuances of great interior design. There is nothing wrong with this book, and if you are interested in learning the history of why interiors in various places are designed the way they are, this is a very informative book and you can't go wrong. If you are interested in understanding the proportions and seeing why certain design choices work together, an illustrated print version of the book would be more suitable.

  • Generale
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    3 out of 5 stars
  • M Florin
  • 30/08/2021

Better in print…

…An audio version without the referenced photos and drawings is perforce less useful. The reading is clear, but the pronunciation of foreign words (and there are very many) ranges from not great to downright wrong.

  • Generale
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LarS
  • 27/08/2019

excellent

Loved it! Very exacting and expressive as time and circumstance is well addressed by Edith Wharton.

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  • Generale
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lettura
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Storia
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philip
  • 31/03/2017

great!

Weirdly this works as an audio book. At least it worked for me.

It is read with energy and decision- which suits the rather didactic style of the text and its just, well, interesting...

1 persona l'ha trovata utile