This beautifully illustrated book celebrates the British Ambassador's Residence in Paris, one of the most splendid historic homes in the French capital and the most impressive of all British ambassadorial residences abroad. The author, Tim Knox, charts the stirring story of the house, from its origins as the home of the Ducs de Charost, to its opulent heyday under Napoleon's sister, Pauline Bonaparte, Princess Borghese, much of whose luxurious furniture and decoration survives intact. Since 1814, when Pauline sold the house to the 1st Duke of Wellington, the mansion has served as the residence of successive British Ambassadors to France, who altered the house to suit their taste and character, notably Sir Duff Cooper and his beautiful wife, Lady Diana, whose Empire-style study is still redolent of their brilliant social circle in Post-War Paris. This beautiful house in the rue du Faubourg St Honore, furnished with masterpieces of French Empire furniture and decorative arts, English silver, and paintings by British artists, remains a splendid, but hard-working setting for promoting the Franco-British relationship.
Tim Knox is Director of Sir John Soane's Museum in London. Formerly Head Curator of the National Trust, he regularly lectures and writes on art, architecture and the history of collecting. His publications include Sir John Soane's Museum London, numerous country house guidebooks, and articles in Apollo and Country Life. He is the Special Adviser on the designated ambassadorial residences to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Internationally renowned lifestyle and art photographer Francis Hammond has recently made the original photography for an important book on French decoration: Historic Houses of Paris and is the photographer for Elegant Entertaining: Seasonal Recipes from the American Ambassador's Residence in Paris, and Mariage Freres: French Tea.