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Book cover of Great Irish Households : Inventories from the Long Eighteenth Century, with aerial view of grand estate with large house and topiary gardens. Published by John Adamson.

Great Irish Households

Inventories from the Long Eighteenth Century

Foreword by Toby Barnard
Edited by Tessa Murdoch
Preface by Leslie Fitzpatrick


  • Toby Barnard is one of the pre-eminent historians of eighteenth-century Ireland
  • Inventories, most of them published here for the first time, are presented in a highly readable layout
  • Extensive index makes the goods and chattels listed in the inventories easily accessible
  • Full glossary is linked to the index
  • Companion volume to Noble Households: Eighteenth-Century Inventories of Great English Houses (Tessa Murdoch, ed.)
Full Description

The value of inventories in charting how houses were arranged, furnished and used is now widely appreciated. Typically, the listings and valuations were occasioned by the death of an owner and the consequent need to deal with testamentary dispositions. That was not always so. The inventory for Castlecomer House, Co. Kilkenny, for example, was drawn up to make a claim following the house’s devastation in the 1798 uprising.

Mostly hitherto unpublished, the inventories chosen give new-found insights into the lifestyle and taste of some of the foremost families of the day.

A comprehensive index facilitates access to the myriad items within the inventories, while the books listed at three of the houses are tentatively identified in separate appendices. A foreword, together with preambles to the inventories, sets the households in their historical context. The book will appeal to historians of interiors, patronage, collecting and material culture, as well as to scholars, curators, collectors, creative designers, film directors, bibliographers, lexicographers and historical novelists.

About the Author

Toby Barnard, FBA, is Emeritus Fellow in History at Hertford College, University of Oxford, and a specialist in the political, social and cultural histories of Ireland and England, c. 1600–1800.

Leslie Fitzpatrick is the former Samuel and M. Patricia Grober Associate Curator, European Decorative Arts, at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Tessa Murdoch, FSA, is Research Curator, Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

John Adamson
13th Dec 2022
USA & Canada
8.11 in x 10.75 in
436 Pages
18 color, 40 b&w
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