New Book | Georgian Gothic, 1730–1840

Posted in books by InternRW on July 29, 2016

Scheduled for release in October from Boydell & Brewer:

Peter Lindfield, Georgian Gothic: Medievalist Architecture, Furniture and Interiors, 1730–1840 (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2016), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-1783271276, $99.

Georgian GothicThe Gothic Revival—rich, ambitious, occasionally eccentric, but nonetheless visually exciting—is one of Britain’s greatest contributions to early modern design history, not least because for the most part it contravened approved taste: Classicism. Scholars have tended to treat Georgian Gothic as an homogenous and immature precursor to ‘high’ Victorian Gothic and centred their discussion around Walpole’s Strawberry Hill. This book, conversely, reveals how the style was imaginatively and repeatedly revised and incorporated into prevailing eighteenth-century fashions: Palladianism, Rococo, Neoclassicism, and antiquarianism. It shows how under the control of architects, from Wren to Pugin, Walpole and Cottingham, and furniture designs, especially those of Chippendale and Mayhew, a shared language of Gothic motifs was applied to British architecture, furniture and interiors. Georgian Britain was awash with Gothic forms, even if the arbiters of taste criticised it vehemently. Throughout, the volume reframes the Gothic revival’s expression by connecting it with Georgian understandings of the medieval past, and consequently revises interpretation of one of the most influential, yet lampooned, forms of material culture at the time.

Peter N. Lindfield is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Stirling.

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Introduction: The Gothic Aesthetic in Britain and British Furniture, 1730–1840
Understanding Gothic Architecture in Georgian Britain
Creation of Classical Gothic Architecture, Furniture and Interiors
High Fashion and Fragments of the Past: The Omnipresence of Rococo Gothic
Fluctuating Tastes: Gothic in Later Eighteenth-Century Britain
The ‘Chaos of Modern Gothic Excrescences’: Regency to Revolution

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