Mark Purcell’s The Country House Library and Nino Strachey’s Rooms of their Own both explore the interiors of some remarkable houses in relation to the preoccupations and tastes of their inhabitants. Mark Purcell, Director of Research at Cambridge University Library, covers the past 2,000 years in his boundlessly informative and entertaining survey of private book collections and their frequently obsessive owners. Nino Strachey, Head of Research at the National Trust, provides a fascinating slant on Bloomsbury through the prism of some of its living spaces – Knole, Sissinghurst and Monk’s House – in her book, Rooms of their Own. She is descended from a family at the centre of Bloomsbury. They discuss whether books or décor furnish a room with Dinah Casson, whose design company specialises in museum installations.
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