I have a guilty secret to admit. I rarely actually read the text in design books. I pour over the photos of course, but I usually only scan through the text. Rizzoli recently sent me a press copy of the new book by India Hicks: A SLICE OF ENGLAND and I read it cover to cover. For the last two decades, India has been living on an idyllic island in the West Indies with her partner David Flint Wood and their five children. But as everyone knows, her DNA is deep, deep in the British aristocracy and design worlds as the daughter of Lady Pamela Hicks, lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth, God-daughter to Prince Charles and daughter of design icon David Hicks. So, it’s no wonder that India and family decided it was time to build a house in England and it’s no surprise that her family history of famous houses would play an important role.
From the press release: A follow-up to India Hicks’s New York Times bestselling book, India Hicks: Island Style, India Hicks: A Slice of England is the designer’s exploration of her British heritage and how she has expressed it in her newly finished English country house in Oxfordshire. The book is divided into two parts. Part one, Legacy, is the story of her family’s homes, including the renowned Broadlands estate, and her parents’ houses, Britwell and the Grove, as well as her father David Hicks’s famous garden. The second half of the book is the story of her new home, America Farm, a stunning example of how she has reinterpreted English tradition and made it her own. She covers life upstairs and downstairs, on the grounds and in the surrounding country, including local pubs, circuses, and markets.
My mother was a huge, huge Anglophile and because of this, I’ve picked up a lot of English history and who’s who in the royal family. It’s sort of in my DNA by this point. My mother would have loved this book and would have loved that India dedicated it to her stylish mother. The photos, by the amazing Miquel Flores-Vianna are beautiful in their scope and attention to detail. India’s prose is refreshingly clear if a bit meandering from topic to topic. Still, it’s fun read for anyone with interest in English history, design, architecture with a little royal family lore thrown in. For instance, the room above with the floral canopy bed covered in a David Hicks fabric, features the dresses Lady Pamela wore as bridesmaid when Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip married (r) and India wore as flower girl when Prince Charles wed Diana, Princes of Wales (l). Talk about a bit of history!
The gorgeous India Hicks in her English country garden.
I definitely recommend this book for the gorgeous photography, beautiful homes and decor, and a little touch of history as well.
In 2013 I interviewed India on my then podcast The Skirted Roundtable. Have a listen!
(Disclaimer: I received a press copy of this book for review purposes. Items purchased at the link above will return a small commission to this blog. My opinions are my own. Thanks!)