Isn’t It Romantic

It is now ten years since the book seen above was first published, and its success among readers helped to inspire the creation of this site. The appetite for information about Ireland’s historic properties, especially among overseas readers and visitors, continues to be astounding, especially when one considers how little is often done to ensure their survival here.

Romantic Irish Homes featured a wide variety of buildings, from relatively modest farmhouses to grand country houses (such as Stradbally Hall, County Laois, the drawing room of which appeared on the book’s cover). Regardless of scale, what they shared was a certain aesthetic: a disregard for passing design trends, an appreciation of the well-used object, a respect for patina. And an abundance of colour: there’s no monochrome interior found between these pages.

Since the book appeared, the Irish Aesthete has discovered many more properties around Ireland which share the same spirit as those featured in Romantic Irish Homes. I will be discussing some of these on Wednesday, November 6th in a talk organized by the Royal Oak Foundation at the Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum in New Orleans, a city imbued with the same romantic spirit.

For more information on my talk in New Orleans, please see:

11 comments on “Isn’t It Romantic

  1. Michelle says:

    Your talk sounds wonderful! Robert please come to Kansas City next time 😍

  2. jenjunebug says:

    Have a wonderful trip!

  3. Sue Kilbracken says:

    Oh there’s a photo above (with all the books) taken in the Little Drawing Room here at Killegar!

    Do ask anyone attending your talk in New Orleans whether they’d like to make donations to the upkeep/maintenance of some of the houses you write and talk about – “every little helps”. Otherwise the houses will simply fall down and willl become only a “romantic” memory. *Sigh* – it’s happening already.

  4. Funny, I just picked up your book again for my collection here the other day. Mostly for comfort in knowing places are still standing and to remind me of timeless places with years of history through their different family members by the things that are kept within and testimony to those that become the keepers for a time of their care.

    I was in a meeting the other day where it was suggested that ‘it just wasn’t worth keeping up and the money it would take to do so’ .. this is a working building that needs some repair!! Your work continues to inspire me, keeping me vigilant, and yes you are very right, we are still not vigilant enough, yet we must speak up and to give our help.

    A huge congratulations on your 10th anniversary! Please, keep going!

  5. Brian Terry says:

    This very book is what started me as an American to explore more deeply the history of the Irish (and subsequently English) country house and the histories of the families who built them. It ignited a passion and interest I didn’t know I had, what with delving into both the beauty and the struggles these great houses engender.

    Each of these homes have voices that still speak to us across the centuries; even those in ruin. We simply need to still enough to listen to them to understand their stories…

  6. Hope the trip goes. The ICAA are a fab organisation. Hope to study for their Certificate in Classical Architecture one of these years.

  7. David Corbett says:

    Don’t look for the Beauregard statue in Stalag New Orleans.

  8. Elizabeth Printy says:

    Love your book – it’s on the living room table with all the “great books.” Enjoy your trip and some outstanding etouffee!

  9. teresastokes says:

    I am amused to see that I have that exact same Classical Roman foot shown in photo 6. Originally part of a 35 foot high Greek Goddess from about 100BC, only the foot remains and the original belongs to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth House. It was made into replica paperweights sold by the high street chain called Past Time which sadly went bankrupt in 2012.

  10. Tom Crane says:

    Oh yes, the Beauregard house is indeed much in the spirit of those lovely Irish homes.

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