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Living with the Laird

A captivating memoir of one woman's relationship with a man and his mansion. When Belinda Rathbone, a New York art historian, met eccentric Anglo-Scots bachelor John Ouchterlony it was the start of a story of clashing cultures and crumbling houses. After a whirlwind romance she married the man - and his 400 acre estate and decrepit mansion in Scotland. In her charming and moving account of their time together she reveals her many discoveries about this strange world - not just the persistence of lino, and family history ancient and recent, but the value of dead elms, the art of the Aga, yoga with the aristocracy, and the vitally important business of producing an heir...
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Promotional Information

/ Lead title / Includes PS Section A captivating memoir of one woman's relationship with a man and his mansion. / An unusual love story, 'Living with the Laird' explores the outcome of what happens when two people from two very separate worlds -- one old, one new -- fall in love. / Combines Bill Bryson's affectionate view of the British with an outsider's penetrating view of the aristocracy. / Will appeal to fans of 'Grand Designs' through its description of the actual restoration of house and garden. / Published with a new epilogue and fabulous PS section

About the Author

Belinda Rathbone is a photography historian who has written widely on modern and contemporary photographers. She is the author of 'Walker Evans: A Biography', a New York Times Notable Book of 1995, and has contributed to magazines such as House & Garden and Architectural Digest. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


'A gem of a memoir.' Observer 'I read "Living With the Laird" with admiration and sympathy!This is not only a personal story, but a perceptive analysis of the social mores of Scotland and a way of country life that seems to have continued over the centuries.' ROSAMUNDE PILCHER 'It is difficult to remain unseduced by this winsome account of a misalliance between a New England woman of literary taste and architectural sophistication and a frugal Scottish laird in his dilapidated ancestral home.' The Times 'The poignancy of her fractured love affair with both the man and the house shines through!Perhaps only an 'incomer' could have written such an intimate and acutely observed account of a disappearing social order which deserves a memoir like this as a lasting testimonial.' Spectator 'Fascinating!the book lifts and excels in [Rathbone's] description of her husband. In writing about John with affection, exasperation and sadness, Rathbone has managed to nail down a little bit of the Scottish soul in all its stark splendor.' New York Times 'Sometimes comical, often touching, "The Guynd" is at once the story of a house, a place and a marriage. Rathbone writes so beautifully of the house and of rural Scotland that our lives are enriched, as hers undoubtedly was, by the struggle to become part of them and, by burnishing their ancient charms, bring them more brilliantly into our century.' Chicago Tribune

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