Upcoming event

Friday, 16 November 2018

– Saturday, 17 November 2018


Reading the Country House Conference

Date: Friday 16th – Saturday 17th November 2018

Time: Friday, 9am – 6.30pm; Saturday, 9.30am – 4pm

Location: Manchester Metropolitan University

Tickets: Tickets available here. Prices range from £120 full rate, £65 day rate - Unwaged full rate £60, £35 unwaged day rate

County houses were made to be read—as symbols of power, political allegiance, taste and wealth. This places emphasis on the legibility of their architecture and decorative schemes, and the paintings, collections and even the furniture they contained. It also draw our attention to the skills required to decode —to read—these signs and symbols. The messages and processes of reading were carried further by the growing number of images of country houses produced through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: in private sketch books and journals and as engravings published as collections or incorporated into written guidebooks. These allowed the country house to be read in very different ways, as did its appearance in the pages of novels, sometimes as the backdrop or stage for the action, but also symbolic of social structures and relations. This conference seeks to explore all of these perspectives on reading the country house and links them to how the country house is read today, by house managers and visitors and by viewers of period dramas.


Friday 16 November

9.00–10.45: Registration

10.45-11.00: Opening Remarks / Welcome Address

11.00–13.00: Panel 1: Narrating and Interpreting Heritage

13.00–14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.00: Plenary 1: Kathryn Sutherland, House Fictions: the most perfect English invention

15.00-16.00: Parallel Panels 2 and 3

2: Reading walls and buildings

3: The Politics of Style

16.00-16.30: Tea/coffee

16.30-18.00: Parallel Panels 4 and 5

4: Marginalised Perspectives?

5: Modernism and Modernity

18.30: Wine reception (Ormond Council Chamber)

Saturday 17 November

9.30-11.00: Parallel Panels 6 and 7

6: Literary references and literary representations

7: The Italianate Impulse

11.00-11.30: Tea / Coffee

11.30- 12.30: Parallel Panels 8 and 9

8: Intention and reception: country house owners and visitors

9: Reading the Exotic

12.30–13.30: Lunch

13.30-14.30: Plenary 2: Phillip Lindley, Country Houses and Tombs: Immigrant Sculptors and Monuments of the British Elite

14.30-16.00: Panel 10: Perspectives Past, Present and Future

16.00: Concluding remarks

Note: Our special collections will be open 12.30-14.00 on Friday and 12.30-16.00 with a selection of guidebooks and other ephemera available for view.

Event contact Jon Stobart · j.stobart@mmu.ac.uk

Visit the Event website