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A Lesson in Taste You Might Say

In the novel Edwin Lutyens proposes to add a Tuscan pillar into Sir Julius Drewe's bathroom when Sir Julius threatens to remove the west wing from the design, as a lesson in taste. The story of the Tuscan pillar was taken from one of Lutyens' letters; however, the threat does not appear to have been carried out. Sir Julius should have considered himself lucky!

Francis Terry, the architect, recounts a similar anecdote about Lutyens when he designed Heathcote in 1908. Lutyens and the client. John Thomas Hemingway, were viewing the property and were looking at the space intended for a black marble staircase. Hemingway said: "I don't want a black marble staircase. I want an oak staircase." Lutyens replied "What a pity." On a later visit Hemingway was shown the completed black marble staircase. He complained to Lutyens saying: "I told you I didn't want a black marble staircase." "I know," replied Lutyens, "and I said, 'What a pity', didn't I?"

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