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Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House

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The story of Hearst Castle, the Californian estate of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Thuis book chronicles the evolution of the estate, with its pools and collection of fine art and antiques. It also includes stories of the famous parties hosted by Hearst.


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The story of Hearst Castle, the Californian estate of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Thuis book chronicles the evolution of the estate, with its pools and collection of fine art and antiques. It also includes stories of the famous parties hosted by Hearst.

30 review for Hearst Castle: The Biography of a Country House

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maura

    Very similar to the other Hearst Castle book by Aidala. Lots of color photography. The photos are beautifully done, well-lit and nicely composed to show rooms at their best, with sunlight and blue sky visible through the windows. (Better than being there almost - when you tour the building some of the rooms are dim with shades drawn to protect interiors from the sun). There's quite a bit of detail about his life, including an entire section on Marion Davies. The last two sections of the book cove Very similar to the other Hearst Castle book by Aidala. Lots of color photography. The photos are beautifully done, well-lit and nicely composed to show rooms at their best, with sunlight and blue sky visible through the windows. (Better than being there almost - when you tour the building some of the rooms are dim with shades drawn to protect interiors from the sun). There's quite a bit of detail about his life, including an entire section on Marion Davies. The last two sections of the book cover his financial failure and its effect on the estate, and the turnover of the place to the state of California for use as a park / historic site. There's an extensive index and bibliography as well, along with the footnotes - some of which have some additional information so it's worthwhile to skim them.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn C.

    Beautiful photos. Not really interested in the text. Just wanted to recreate the feeling of visiting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    George Plimpton's Foreword puts things into perspective. Apparently, there was a down side to being invited to the Castle. Chimneys that belched smoked, windows leaking, and misbehaving menagerie. Perhaps the worst was allowing only one cocktail before dinner which had to last until dinner was served 3 hours later. Minor inconveniences when one views the photos inside this book of this glorious estate and it is accompanied with an insightful text. The Proust questionnaire that asks "Who are your George Plimpton's Foreword puts things into perspective. Apparently, there was a down side to being invited to the Castle. Chimneys that belched smoked, windows leaking, and misbehaving menagerie. Perhaps the worst was allowing only one cocktail before dinner which had to last until dinner was served 3 hours later. Minor inconveniences when one views the photos inside this book of this glorious estate and it is accompanied with an insightful text. The Proust questionnaire that asks "Who are your favorite characters in history?" - well, many of them were guests here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Suzi

    Love the long dining table story. New guests were seated beside Hearst or Marian, who sat facing each other in the middle of a long pier table. When newer guests arrived, the new guests took their places beside Hearst and his girl/lady friend and older guests were moved further down the table. When you were at the end of the table you know it was time to leave.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Mustread

    In preparation and following a tour of Hearst Castle, I enjoyed looking at the illustrations and reading the parts I found most interesting. Great accompaniment to the Castle Tour. Especially enjoyed reading about the architect, Julia Morgan, her amazing abilities, and her relationship with Hearst.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    While this was a "coffee table" book with a lot of gorgeous pictures, I also thought the author did a good job with the accompanying text. She included a lot of details about both the house and Hearst's life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mylittlechickadee1965

    Best book ever I even visited it ps very beautiful !

  8. 5 out of 5

    Xinran Lu

  9. 5 out of 5

    Crystal Petlak

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  11. 4 out of 5

    James Shonkwiler

  12. 5 out of 5

    C!NDY L00

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Mason

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

  15. 5 out of 5

    Gord

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gary McAvoy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eileen Hurley

  19. 5 out of 5

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lyn Mistry

  22. 4 out of 5

    Beth

  23. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lara

  26. 5 out of 5

    E. Russell

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kev

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonae

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tim Otero

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marthaw

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