Enfilade

New Book | Building Greater Britain

Posted in books by Editor on December 18, 2022

Distributed by Yale UP:

G. A. Bremner, Building Greater Britain: Architecture, Imperialism, and the Edwardian Baroque Revival, 1885–1920 (London: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2022), 368 pages, ISBN: 978-1913107314, £50 / $65.

This innovative study reappraises the Edwardian Baroque movement in British architecture, placing it in its wider cultural, political, and imperial contexts

The Edwardian Baroque was the closest British architecture ever came to achieving an ‘imperial’ style. With the aim of articulating British global power and prestige, it adorned civic and commercial structures both in Britain and in the wider British world, especially in the ‘white settler’ Dominions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa. Evoking the contemporary and emotive idea of ‘Greater Britain’, this new book by distinguished historian G. A. Bremner represents a major, groundbreaking study of this intriguing architectural movement in Britain and its empire. It explores the Edwardian Baroque’s significance as a response to the growing tide of anxiety over Britain’s place in the world, its widely perceived geopolitical decline, and its need to bolster confidence in the face of the Great Power rivalries of the period. Cross-disciplinary in nature, it combines architectural, political, and imperial history and theory, providing a more nuanced and intellectually wide-ranging understanding of the Edwardian Baroque movement from a material culture perspective, including its foundation in notions of race and gender.

G. A. Bremner is professor of architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, where he specializes in the history of Victorian and Edwardian architecture, with a particular focus on British imperial and colonial architecture and urbanism.

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