Amelia Baker, founder of the Country House Library
As a lifelong bibliophile, I couldn’t think of a better job than one surrounded by books. Being an only child and the latchkey kid of two very busy parents, books were always my mainstay when looking for something to do, or as my parents put it, ‘staying out of trouble’. I began by reading everything in the house, and moved on to a progressively more dog-eared library card that soon took me on my very own literary journey, one that included Bleak House, The Hobbit, Robinson Crusoe, Little Women, The Mill on The Floss, Emma, and bizarrely one very boring summer - the History of Western Philosophy by Bertram Russell, which I would actually recommend to anyone, even if they were twelve at the time.
But this was nothing compared to when I eventually discovered the loft. Picking my way across the beams, and trying not to fall through the ceiling, I discovered another set of shelves, this time filled with a treasure trove of proper, hand-me-down, vintage books. And so my expedition into all things vintage began, first with Brideshead Revisited, and then on to the not so age-appropriate, but beautifully written, Lolita, which if I’m honest, raised more questions than it answered.
Thanks to my first encounter with the complete collection of PG Wodehouse, the books that have always stayed with me were those set in the British country house, with all the japes and scrapes that apparently could be had within, and the wonderful library they always seemed to contain. By combining the two, I came up with the idea for the Country House Library, recruiting fine arts graduate Sean to help me with all things creative, and launching a growing community that have come together to shamelessly revel in what we love best - beautiful, classic, evocative, rare, vintage and obscure books.