Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, was more than just a country house, and many of its finest features were outside, not inside. In Hearst's San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land, the castle's official historian Victoria Kastner takes readers on a time-traveling tour of the estate, from the beginning of its construction to the present. Featuring two spectacular swimming pools, 120 acres of luxuriant gardens, and 450 square miles of pristine coastal landscape, it's no wonder that the estate was named "La Cuesta Encantada" (The Enchanted Hill). From the 1920s through the 1940s, publisher William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies hosted the country's elite here, encouraging them to enjoy the outdoors at "the ranch," which Hearst created with the architect Julia Morgan. With stunning photographs, original drawings, and lively anecdotes, Hearst's San Simeon: The Gardens and the Land tells the 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. She has master's degrees from the University of California at Santa Barbara and George Washington University. She lives in Los Osos, California. Victoria Garagliano has photographed the Hearst estate since 1994. She is a graduate of Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara and lives in San Simeon, California.