Enfilade

New Book | The New Town of Edinburgh

Posted in books by Editor on October 10, 2019

From Birlinn Ltd:

Clarisse Godard Desmarest, ed., The New Town of Edinburgh: An Architectural Celebration (Edinburgh: John Donald, 2019), 336 pages, ISBN: 978-1910900352, £40.

This collection of innovative essays celebrates the New Town of Edinburgh over the 250 years since its original creation. The contributing authors discuss the intellectual, economic, and political contexts that provided the impetus for the city of Edinburgh to expand north of the Old Town, and analyse the New Town’s unique architectural status in terms of its size, monumentality, and degree of preservation. For centuries, Scotland has pursued innovation, improvement, commerce, and contact with England and the Continent; and since medieval times it has been an urbanising land of planned towns. This book reflects on the constantly changing dialogue between Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns—from the eighteenth century to the present time—as the city became increasingly commercialised. It also compares Edinburgh’s New Town with more recent new towns elsewhere, notably nineteenth-century Dunedin in New Zealand and Scotland’s planned new-town movement of the twentieth century. The age of conservation is another of the central themes. By drawing on different approaches to the new town phenomenon in Scotland, this volume pays tribute to Scotland’s vibrant capital and offers insights into new research on Scotland’s urban development.

Clarisse Godard Desmarest is a lecturer at the University of Picardie Jules Verne, Amiens, and a fellow of the Institut Universitaire de France. She specialises in Scottish architectural history and heritage, and has held fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), Edinburgh College of Art and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. She holds an ‘Agrégation in English’ and is a graduate of Sciences Po Paris. Her doctorate at the Sorbonne, jointly supervised by the University of Edinburgh, was awarded a national prize in France for the best thesis on a Scottish subject.

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