Book title: Colonial Houses of South Africa
Authors: Alain Proust; Graham Viney
Publisher: Struik Publishers
Cape Town, South Africa 2000
ISBN 0947430059 / ISBN 0-947430-05-9
Original hardcover and dustjacket, 23 x 30 cm, 288 pages, throughout b/w and colour photography
Good. Few traces of usage.
All over the former colonial world there are still standing many of the houses built by settlers in their new countries - the ‘colonial houses’ that, as an area of domestic architecture, have long been neglected. South Africa’s share spans the Cape Dutch, Cape Regency and Victorian eras and includes, too, the mansions of the sugar barons and Randlords. These buildings often have a naive charm, a spontaneous ebullience that today, distanced as we are from the connotation of mediocrity borne for so long by ‘colonial’ architecture, can be appreciated with perception and genuine pleasure. Twenty-three houses, varying in character from the simple dignity of Barville Park in the Eastern Cape to the grand-scale opulence of the Tuynhuis in Cape Town, are explored here in depth. Their histories, both architecturally and as homes that are lived in, make fascinating reading, and author Graham Viney recounts them in a lively spirit of admiration. His meticulous research into the circumstances of their building, the families which occupied them, and their fate at the hands of subsequent generations, has added much to the record of South Africa’s heritage. Close co-operation between Graham Viney and photographer Alain Proust has produced superb full-colour photographs that, together with historically fascinating black and white pictures, capture perfectly the spirit of each house.