16–17 November: Reading the Country House (Manchester)
Country 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 their paintings, collections and furniture. It also draws our attention to the skills required to decode the signs. The messages and processes of reading were carried further by 18th- and 19th-century images: in private sketch books and journals, in engravings and in guidebooks. These allowed the country house to be read in very different ways, as did its appearance in novels as backdrop and social symbol. This conference at Manchester Metropolitan University seeks to explore such perspectives on reading the country house, and link them to how the house is read today, by managers, visitors and viewers of period dramas. Keynote speakers Phillip Lindley FSA (Loughborough) and Kathryn Sutherland (Oxford). If you would like to present a paper please send title and 200-word abstract with a very brief biography to Jon Stobart at firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2018.