Country Life December 13/20 2017

Country Life December 13/20 2017 is our fabulous Christmas double issue featuring the Editor’s Christmas Quiz, ducal dogs, Ian Rankin’s exclusive ‘Rebus’ story, animals that deserve Oscars, panto perils, real elves and crib makers. Find out more:

CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: The Bishop of Gloucester embraces the hopes and fears of all the years


FAVOURITE PAINTING: The Bishop of Warwick, the Rt Rev John Stroyan chooses a batik he commissioned from an ‘untouchable’ in India

COMMENT: Fiona Reynolds goes on the trail of the Mitford family

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ARCHITECTURE: John Goodall describes the late-medieval struggle to award Wells Cathedral its status

DOGS FIT FOR A DUKE: From Rupert the collie-cross and Suzy the shih tzu, dogs have long been a duke’s best friend, finds Matthew Dennison

WILDLIFE: The kingfisher or ‘ice bird’ is an artist’s favourite, marvels David Profumo

SHORT STORY: Rebus finds the truth behind a festive parlour game in Ian Rankin’s exclusive short story

GARDENS: Jacky Hobbs visits the star-spangled festive extragavanza at 17th-century Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte in France

ANIMAL OSCARS: Animal ‘actors’ are often remembered long after their human counter-parts, says Flora Watkins

HISTORY: The endless winter of 1947


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GARDENING: Ivy has virtues we should all celebrate, says Steven Desmond

REAL ELVES: Katy Birchall meets the real-live elves who respond to children’s letters

CRIB MAKERS: Julie Harding on the people who create Nativity scenes

COLUMNIST OF THE YEAR: John Lewis-Stempel frets as his cows are tested for TB

LUXURY: Hetty Chidwick brings the latest in luxury, profiles Fly Victor and discovers Jools Holland’s life essentials

MOTORING: Charles Rangeley-Wilson tests the new Levante from Maserati

REEL LIFE: David Profumo’s fishing year

INTERIORS: Ben Pentreath and Henriette von Stockhausen debate eating spaces and Giles Kime loves a pom-pom

ART & ANTIQUES: Michael Hall reveals how the art collections of Charles l and Charles ll were reunited

FEASTING: Mark Price’s dream day of Christmas eating

COOKING: Simon Hopkinson provides ideas for smoked salmon

MAGIC: Emma Hughes finds out what it takes to be a modern-day magician

PANTOMIMES: Perennial pantomime villain Kit Hesketh-Harvey explains a much-loved ritual

INTERVIEW: Jeremy Taylor meets the cricketing ballet dancer Alexander Campbell

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