With its extraordinary views and unsurpassed setting, Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, was much more than just a country house and many of its finest features were outside, not inside. America's two most spectacular swimming pools, set within 120 acres of luxuriant gardens; the largest private zoo in the nation; and 450 square miles of pristine coastal landscape gave San Simeon its grandeur. Publisher William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies hosted Hollywood royalty there from the 1920s through the 1940s, encouraging them to enjoy the outdoors at 'the ranch' created by architect and landscape architect Julia Morgan.For nearly thirty years, Morgan devoted her talents and efforts to the construction of the estate, producing the single greatest project ever designed by a woman. Including lively anecdotes from Hollywood stars and literary and political celebrities, excerpts from numerous letters between Hearst and Morgan, stunning colour photographs, historic photographs and original drawings, "Hearst's San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land" tells the whole story of one of California's most beautiful and unspoiled treasures.
Victoria Kastner, Hearst Castle's Historian, has written and lectured about San Simeon's land and buildings for nearly thirty years. D.C. She lives in Los Osos, California. Victoria Garagliano has photographed the Hearst estate - its gardens, architecture, art collection, ranchland and dramatic coastal surroundings - since 1994. Garagliano lives in San Simeon, California.