Ever since Mark Girouard published Life in the English Country House in 1978, it has been axiomatic that the best art and architecture books came from Yale University Press (including, I blush to say it, mine). The genius to come up with the relative novelty of cheap color printing with scholarly texts, and to publish sumptuous academic books on a shoestring, was John Nicoll, in the London office, whose example was followed by his successor Gillian Malpas. So the news that Malpas and her senior editor Sally Salvesen have been made redundant could mark the end of an era. Now that all forms of print on paper are in existential crisis, readers of Yale’s distinguished list can only hope that Patricia McCarthy’s Life in the Country House in Georgian Ireland doesn’t represent a swan song. If such it proves, however, it is worthy of the role. This...


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