A study of the artistic and cultural roots of the cities the Victorians built.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
The starting-point for Richard Jenkyns’s scintillating book is his contention that the Victorian age, which we think of as the great period of Gothic, was so shot through with the influence of the classical past that we should think instead of Victorian art and architecture as the continuing flow forward of two stylistic streams – the Gothic and the classical side by side.
Jenkyns addresses the fashionable question of why these two strains, thoroughly entangled, ripened and ripened as the century ended, until dignity was corrupted into decadence. He subtly traces the very gradual changes through the paintings of Leighton and Alma-Tadema, the operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan, the ‘aesthetic scripture’ of Pater, even the advertisements for Beecham’s pills, to show how the merely eclectic became the distinctive fin-de-siècle style and eventually began to point the way forward to Modernism.
Jenkyns’s discussion of these grand themes moves brilliantly to and from the general to the particular and is refreshingly unafraid to make judgements. In its course there are, almost incidentally, some of the best descriptions of Victorian pictures, sculpture and architecture to have appeared in recent years.
“With his new book Richard Jenkyns’s reaches a position comparable to that of the late Kenneth Clark, both for the penetration of his artistic insights and the distinction of his writing.”
“A pleasure and an education to read.”
FREDERIC RAPHAEL, 'Sunday Times'
“Enviable elegant and witty writing: scholarly exposition at its very best.”
PETER JONES, 'The Times, Books of the Year'
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Book Description Fontana Press,, London, 1991. Paperback. Paperback. 363pp. Integral black and white illustrations throughout. Little rubbed. Very good copy. Bookseller Inventory # 8185
Book Description Fontana Press, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition Thus.. 1992 Fontana Press first printing thus paperback; very good condition appears unread, near as new; UK dealer, immediate dispatch. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 87W11
Book Description Fontana Press, 1992. Paperback. Book Condition: Used; Acceptable. Ships from the UK within 24 hours. Some pages are detached but present. Bookseller Inventory # BBI2270709
Book Description Fontana Press, London, UK, 1992. Trade Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 039204