Thursday, May 26, 2022

Downton Shabby - Hopwood DePree

Hopwood DePree's new book, Downton Shabby: One American's Ultimate DIY Adventure Restoring His Family's English Castle, caught my eye. Having lived in an older (150 years) home for many years, I was drawn to DePree's book about his restoration - which is a little older at 600 years!

How does a Hollywood actor, producer and more end up England, restoring a ruin? It's all in the name. When he was younger, Hopwood went by his middle name. As an adult, he choose to use his given name, as it was memorable. Whilst researching on genealogical sites, he discovers a past - and the home of his ancestors - in the remains of Hopwood Hall. 

I quite enjoyed being along for the trip as Hopwood makes connections, makes friends and willingly upends his whole life for Hopwood Hall. His family is just as enthusiastic. As are the supporters of the Hall, who are trying to preserve this historic building. Geoff and Bob are the two core supporters who guide and educate Hopwood on the Hall's past. Their dedication was and is admirable. Hopwood meets many others who are happy to lend a hand. It was fascinating to uncover the historical past of the Hall with Hopwood. The descriptions of the Hall - and included photographs - made me want to come and visit! 

DePree is enthusiastic and able to laugh at himself. I quite enjoyed his book, but the journey isn't over. You can see more on his website. Downton Shabby (clever title) was an entertaining, easy read that kept me engaged. 

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