Could I suggest that Christopher Pizzi (Letters, AJ 18.3.04) read Life in the English Country House by Mark Girouard (Yale University Press, 1978)? This book explains the tradition of the country house designed to display power. The luxury car factories reviewed in the AJ recently reference such traditional gestures as formal water features/moats, long facades, imposing masonry walls and towers, large areas of glazing, great halls, and displays of the latest technology. The service wing has grown enormously and is now profit-making, while the family wing is separated not by a corridor but a car journey. Finally, if Jane Austen were writing today, would not Elizabeth Bennett be more likely to tour Mr Darcy's luxury car factory, rather than his house?
William Hird, via email