Burghley: The Life of a Great House by Lady Victoria Leatham
Burghley is Britain's greatest surviving stately home of the Elizabethan age. Built by William Cecil, the first Lord Burghley, Elizabeth I's Lord Treasurer and principal advisor, it remains externally almost exactly as he left it nearly 400 years ago. Inside, its many rooms are rich with furniture, paintings, tapestries, ceramics, silver and other treasures collected on their travels by later generations of Cecils. Unusually, original 17th- and 18th-century inventories exist of much of the contents. Today, Burghley is still in use as a family home, though open to the public and a centre for big events such as the annual Burghley Horse Trials. Lady Victoria Leatham tells the story of the house, giving a room-by-room account of its contents and a brief history of the author's ancestors, together with anecdotal descriptions of what it was like to live at Burghley as a child and as an adult, during her father's and grandfather's lifetimes as well as her own. She has lived at Burghley since 1982, looking after the house on behalf of the family charitable trust.