In this profusely illustrated book the reader will "journey through a wide section of the South with an architect as … companion: from Lexington to Nashville, then along the Natchez Trace and down the great Mississippi River to New Orleans, with little by-way excursions to homes set back from the main highways." Embracing a variety of styles — from pioneer cabins to French Provincial and Neoclassic revivals — the houses described here recall a bygone era of gracious living and aristocratic privilege. Over 100 detailed illustrations, including 36 floor plans, depict such venerable residences as The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson's white-pillared homestead near Nashville; Annandale, a Mississippi mansion in the Italian Renaissance style; Rosedown, the Greek-revival state in Louisiana where John James Audubon completed Birds of America; Belle Alliance, a splendid plantation house of wrought iron and white pillars; the lovely Gothic chapel of Old Jefferson College, and many more. The author has provided a rich commentary on each house, offering colorful historical anecdotes and perceptive architectural analysis, along with additional material on carpentry, masonry, the portico, staircases, and other topics. Architects will find this an especially revealing tour of the building styles and technical features of the great homes of the Old South. But general readers will also find it an insightful and absorbing look at a time long past in the lower Mississippi Valley, when the stately white-pillared mansions of the well-to-do graced the Southern landscapes and provided a bastion of security, comfort, and prosperity in a vast and promising new land.