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God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain.

God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain. Rosemary Hill. Allen Lane. [pounds sterling]30.00. xiii + 602 pages. ISBN 978-0-713-99499-5. This excellent study is in no doubt about Pugin's importance in creating the modern townscape and goes on to show that Pugin also gave his peers 'a new idea about what architecture could be and mean'. It was a 'moral force ... and a romantic art'. Not for him our era's ugly boxes and weird 'gherkins' that besmirch our great cities. Without Pugin the Gothic Revival might have happened but it would never have been so pervasive or persuasive. He was also, in his own right, a fascinating if deeply flawed man. This biography gives readers the fullest picture yet not just of Pugin the architect and designer, but of the world that would, in time, prove receptive to his message. Miss Hill also has a mastery of architectural terms and history and combines this with an ability to write clearly about a man whose real value was hidden for so many years in the long reaction against Victorian civilisation. (P.P.F.)
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Publication:Contemporary Review
Article Type:Book review
Date:Sep 22, 2008
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