The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home by Peter Mandler (Yale University Press, Â£19-95) tells of the changing fortunes of the grand houses of Britain over the past two centuries. The book traces the attitudes of the nation towards its ruling elite – from appreciation to outright hostility, and only recently to admiration. Supported by black and white photography, this is an intriguing insight into our heritage. Aintree Racecourse will host the 150th Martell Grand National. Martell is offering ten H&G readers a bottle of Martell VS DINING SEATING IDEAS Cognac, a set of Royal Doulton crystal glasses and a commemorative CD, together worth Â£75. Send your name and address on a postcard to Homes & GardensMartell Cognac Offer, King’s Reach Tower, Stamford Street, London SE1 9LS. Offer closes 10 April 1997.