THE Duchess of Northumberland is to launch a new book about her Alnwick castle home. She is to launch the work – Alnwick Castle, The Home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland – at her Alnwick Garden visitor attraction on Monday.
The duchess will be signing copies in the garden’s Atrium from noon to 2pm.
The book will be on advance sale from the garden and castle gift shops from Monday, before its release to the general public on June 7.
It has been written by James McDonald, a photographer and writer who lives in London and Oxfordshire.
James, a contributor to magazines including House and Garden and The World of Interiors, visited the Duke and Duchess at the castle many times over two years to piece together his work.
The book, priced £30, comes with a foreword by the duchess and includes detailed coverage of the renovations of the castle’s state rooms and previously unseen private rooms.
It also includes new photographs of both the castle’s public and private rooms and a look at everyday life there.
The duchess said: “This is the first time such a book has been published about Alnwick Castle.
“It has been well-researched, is very well written and the stunning photographs do the castle justice.
“It tells the history of the castle and, through interviews with family members, estate and household staff, it explains how Alnwick Castle operates and why it continues to be a much loved family home to the Percy family.
“Previously unseen photographs and descriptions of the family living quarters show how we have made a family home within a fortress.
“James McDonald, the author, stayed with us on and off for two years, occasionally driving us mad in the process, but we have to admit that his research has proven worthwhile.”
Promotional literatures for the book says it celebrates “one of the world’s greatest castles”.
It adds: “This new book is a lively history and guide which celebrates this extraordinary place.
“Written with the full co-operation of the family, their staff, builders and interior designers, and with unique access to the castle archives and to the castle itself, James McDonald traces the history of the castle and the family, which he intersperses with many personal stories and details.
“James describes the changes to Alnwick that each generation of dukes and duchesses has brought.
“In particular though, he covers the story of Jane Northumberland, who since becoming duchess in 1995 has remade the private side of the house, renovated the state rooms, blending English country house style with the existing grandeur, and restored the Alnwick Garden to make it the world famous visitor attraction it is today.”