A Guide to Biltmore Estate by Rachel Carley

A Guide to Biltmore Estate

Rachel Carley
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Rachel Carley provides a delightful inventory of the many visual feasts for the visitor to Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. Beautiful pictures fill this book, and the text is rich with details about both the estate and those lucky to live and visit there. The book covers the making of Biltmore, the history of the estate and The Biltmore Company. \nBest photos: The Biltmore estate at dusk. Wedding breakfast in the winter garden. The banquet hall with its table for 64. The library with spiral staircase. The gymnasium and bowling alley. One of the first forests in the country to be managed scientifically. \nThis is an excellent book for an affordable price and makes a great guide to some of the wonders of the estate. However, it would take a much larger book indeed to show all the incredible carvings, stone or wood that appear in the estate. This is a shame, since the estate does not allow any sketching to be done inside the house.\nMany pages are devoted to the workings of the the large estate. The volume of maids and guests made the estate almost a small town in itself. This is an interesting aspect of Biltmore but I would have prefered that that space be devoted to two of the hallways that aren't covered at all. \nThe book would have been a 5 - it's simply a great book and so affordable, but the garden photos didn't really do justice to Fredrick Law Olmstead's vision. Also lacking are any of the splendid statues that grace the outside of the building.