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From awe-inspiring Norman castles, to the homes we live in, Simon Thurley explores how the architecture of this small island influenced the world.
The Building of England puts into context the significance of a country’s architectural history and unearths how it is inextricably linked to the cultural past – and present.
Saxon, Tudor, Georgian, Regency, even Victorian and Edwardian are all well-recognised architectural styles, displaying the influence of the events that mark each period. Thurley looks at how the architecture of England has evolved over a thousand years, uncovering the beliefs, ideas and aspirations of the people who commissioned them, built them and lived in them. He tells the fascinating story of the development of architecture and the advancements in both structural performance and aesthetic effect.
Richly illustrated with over 500 drawings, photographs and maps, Simon Thurley traces the history and contemplates the future of the buildings that have made England.
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‘This is a truly stupendous achievement. Thurley [...] is one of the best architectural historians alive in the world – a real scholar. [The book] is an instant classic. Every household should have one [...] This is a beautiful object, crammed with superb colour photographs and ground plans and elevations.’ A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard
‘This is an impressive book – for its scholarship, for its easy didacticism, for the care with which Thurley has thought things through, and for its inclusiveness. “A bicycle shed is a building; Lincoln Cathedral is a piece of architecture,” said the great architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner: Thurley shows that both have a story to tell.’ The Sunday Times
Praise for Simon Thurley’s previous books:
‘The rarest of things – a coffee table book that is also supremely engaging to read.’ Bill Bryson, The Times
'[A] stupendous new work of scholarship ... it makes the history complete’ Clive Aslet, Country Life
‘The text is engagingly written, authoritative and lavishly produced – a revelation and a delight.’ Country Life
‘A rich evocation’ History Today
Dr Simon Thurley is one of the UK’s leading architectural historians. He is Chief Executive of English Heritage – the government’s principal advisor on the historic environment.
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