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Victorian Architecture: Diversity and Invention



By: James Stevens Curl(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Art, Architecture & Photography

Publisher: Spire Books Ltd (1 Oct. 2007)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: Victorian Architecture: Diversity and Invention

Although more than a century has passed since the end of the Victorian era, the great achievements of the period 1837-1901 are grossly undervalued. Phrases such as 'Victorian monstrosity' are bandied about by many who ought to know better. Professor Curl's robustly argued and beautifully illustrated book shows that the Victorians produced confident, colourful, rumbustiously eclectic architecture, and that they went further than anyone since Roman times to potty-train Urban Man. He deals with the palette of styles available to the Victorians; unprecedented building-types; new materials; ecclesiastical buildings that, arguably, were superior to mediaeval exemplars; the responses of a vital society to contemporary challenges; and puts the built fabric firmly within the context of the intellectual complexities of the age. Wearing his learning lightly, he presents his case with grace, gusto and elegance, bringing the Victorian period to new life in a work which will give readers much to ponder, savour and enjoy.

a heroic publishing achievement'--Roger Bowdler"The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery" (01/01/2008)Those of us who think we know our Victorian architecture will find unfamiliar but wonderful buildings on almost every page of this vast and magisterial work which it is hard to imagine being superceded.'--David Watkin "The Architectural Review, 2008 "overall, it has the best range of illustrations of Victorian architecture that this reviewer has ever seen in a single volume. [It] is a magnificent achievement, a labour of love for the subject we all love, by a scholar who has devoted several decades to its study.'--Steven Brindle "The Victorian, 2008 "a heroic publishing achievement'--Roger Bowdler "The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, 2008 "

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  • By Artsreadings on 29 August 2009

    If you are after a richly informed survey/study of Victorian architecture, this is your book.The subtitle "Diversity and Invention" is broad enough to encompass an amazing diversity of buildings and project of the Victorian period. Yet, the possible vagueness of its sound does not translate in the text as the whole volume is packed with data. It also contains brilliant summaries of theoretical debates on key questions relevant for the architecture of the period.Either post-modern or stuck with old moons, Curl is fiercely anti-Modernist and does not miss any opportunity to criticize Modernist "shells" and "carbuncles", as some famous heir would say. Coming from a specialist of Victorian architecture, this is just legitimate and he cannot be blamed for that.The volume is rather large and heavy, so that it is not a bed-time read, but it is well illustrated and the text is well connected with the pictures.

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