Treasure Houses of Britain

2 vols. color. 231+ min. Alastair Layzell, History Channel & WNET, dist. by Athena Learning, 888-870-8047; 2012. DVD ISBN 9781598287493. $49.99. SDH subtitles. HIST/ARCHITECTURE
Take a tour of five notable British historical homes—Chatsworth House, Blenheim Palace, Burghley House, Holkham Hall, and Boughton House—with TV news reporter and talk-show host Selina Scott. Each 45-minute program follows a similar pattern, with viewers given a guided tour of each edifice and then presented with a discussion of the home's history, including its unique features and notable items of decor. Bonus features include a behind-the-scenes featurette, information on architectural styles, and a viewer's guide.
VERDICT The images of these grand rooms and vast grounds demonstrate that the homes are stately and the visuals lovely, but many of the views are repetitive, and the pacing is rather slow. In addition, at times while Scott is discussing one object, the camera is focusing on something else entirely, leading to a less than engaging experience. Of interest to history and architecture enthusiasts.

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