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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 Much of it is obsolete (attention to fireplaces, ventilation, servants), but still interesting and even useful.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.

  • 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...