Interior Design

Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats

This stunning book presents the intriguing stories and celebrated histories of some of the leading families of Great Britain and Ireland and the opulent residences that have defined their heritages. The history of England is inextricably linked with the stories of its leading aristocratic dynasties and the great seats they have occupied for centuries. As the current owners speak of the critical roles their ancestors have played in the nation, they bring history alive. All of these houses have survived great wars, economic upheavals, and, at times, scandal. Filled with stunning photography, this book is a remarkably intimate and lively look inside some of Britain’s stateliest houses, with the modern-day aristocrats who live in them and keep them going in high style. This book presents a tour of some of England’s finest residences, with many of the interiors shown here for the first time. It includes Blenheim Palace—seven acres under one roof, eclipsing the splendor of any of the British royal family’s residences—property of the Dukes of Marlborough; the exquisite Old Vicarage in Derbyshire, last residence of the late Dowager Duchess of Devonshire (née Deborah Mitford); Haddon Hall, a vast crenellated 900-year-old manor house belonging to the Dukes of Rutland that has been called the most romantic house in England; and the island paradises on Mustique and St. Lucia of the 3rd Baron Glenconner. This book is perfect for history buffs and lovers of traditional interior design and English country life.

About The Author

James Reginato is writer-at-large for Vanity Fair and a contributing editor of Sotheby’s Magazine.

Jonathan Becker is a photographer who has contributed to Vogue, The New Yorker, and Vanity Fair.

Viscount Linley is Hon. Chairman for Christie’s in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, and India.

  • Publish Date: October 04, 2016
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: House & Home - Decorating & Furnishings
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 9-3/8 x 12-3/4
  • Pages: 256
  • US Price: $60.00
  • CDN Price: $80.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-4898-0


"The opulent estates of England and Ireland’s royal and blue-blooded dynasties are perennial catnip to those craving inspiration on the grandest scale. “Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats,” by James Reginato and photographer Jonathan Becker, longtime chroniclers of the rich and famous, does not disappoint, providing an insiders’ portrait of 16 extraordinarily maintained residences belonging to such tenacious tenants as the Prince of Wales and the fourth Baron Rothschild."
—New York Times T Magazine

"The book chronicles the fascinating lineage and examines the amazing architecture of the houses belonging to some of the leading families of Great Britain, in a lush and very weighty tome…If you're starting your holiday shopping early, it's the perfect gift for the PBS-obsessed and lovers of traditional interior design and English country life." 
—Adweek Fishbowl NY

"...features noble homes from grand palaces to modest cottages. A book that took years to complete which included convincing extremely private individuals who have never before opened up their homes." 

"This stunning book presents the intriguing stories and celebrated histories of some of the UK’s leading families…and their occasional scandal."
The Society Diaries

"In this book, Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats, Reginato has compiled these [aristocratic] profiles in one volume, focusing on the splendid homes of the English and Irish aristocracy.  And what a volume it is, with featured homes that include Blenheim, Haddon Hall, Lismore Castle, and Goodwood House.  With photography by the esteemed Jonathan Becker, Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats will likely join the league of those coveted books about high-society by Horst and Slim Aarons."

"...stands out as an absolute treasure in the release of new books being published this Fall." 

"This is of beautiful photographs, bookended with fascinating stories. It’s a great present for people who love Olde England and luxury retreats and the titled rich. It’s history. It’s dish."

"Any great interior design loving Anglophile is keenly aware of the history of manor homes in England....In Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats, almost as if on a docent led tour, James Reginato peels back these remarkable stories, layer by layer."
—Color Outside the Lines

"Rizzoli International will release Great Houses, Modern Aristocrats in October, filled with opulent photos by Jonathan Becker and a fine introduction by Reginato’s friend of twenty years, Viscount Linley. The book focuses on leading aristocratic dynasties and includes marvelous profiles on the gentry. . . . Although Reginato considers himself a journalist rather than a historian, he weaves in the great wars, economic upheavals, and the scandals and tragedies that these great houses witnessed." 
—Classic Chicago Magazine

"Here, Reginato brings us stories of creativity and entrepreneurial spirit applied to preserving family homes for future generations – stories that are as intriguing as the houses themselves! Rich photographs combined with Reginato’s gift for story-telling make this a delicious read. This is of course a must-have addition to your library and would make a gorgeous gift!"

"Fall must haves." 
—La Dolce Vita

"Vanity Fair contributor James Reginato’s intimate look at the fabled aristocratic houses of Great Britain and Ireland is the perfect cure for any reader still lamenting PBS's Downton Abbey ending."
—San Francisco Chronicle

"While the photographs are richly detailed and gorgeous, this is one of those few coffee table books that also deserves to be read."
—New York Social Diary

Author Bookshelf: James Reginato