On Thursday 19 November Nicky Dunne the Chairman of the Mayfair bookshop Heywood Hill, which he owns in partnership with me, his father-in-law, welcomed over 350 participants from across the world to the first Heywood Hill webinar: The Sixth Duke of Devonshire’s Handbook of Chatsworth. For just over an hour I was in conversation with Nicky alongside the acclaimed architectural historian John Martin Robinson who edited this new edition of the Handbook.

I recently published this facsimile edition of the 1844-5 Handbook to Chatsworth to mark my membership of the Roxburghe Club, an old established club for book lovers of which the Bachelor Duke was a founding member.

It was been wonderful to be able to publish The Sixth Duke’s Handbook as it is easily the best book about Chatsworth written so far. What was in 1844 a privately printed detailed Handbook of the 6th Duke’s home, was intended only for family and friends, written in the first person and addressed to the his sister Harriet, Countess Granville. I believe that there were only a dozen copies printed.

He opens ‘Dearest Harriet… my plan is to suppose that you are just arrived, and that I show you every room and corner of the house’ – a house they had both known and loved since infancy.

The production of this volume – which has been the work of John Martin Robinson, the editor, and Robert Dalrymple, the designer, with much help from Fran Baker, the Chatsworth Archivist and Librarian and Mollie Moseley in our private office – has given me enormous pleasure.  I am delighted that this intimate description of Chatsworth by this charming man will now reach a much wider audience. 

Printed for the Roxburghe Club. 2020. £75.00 (+ postage, packing).

To find out more about The Sixth Duke of Devonshire's Handbook of Chatsworth and to watch the recorded webinar please click here.

I do hope you all find this as fascinating as I do.

Stoker Devonshire

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