New Book | The Story of Follies

Posted in books by Editor on February 28, 2023

Distributed by The University of Chicago Press:

Celia Fisher, The Story of Follies: Architectures of Eccentricity (London: Reaktion Books, 2023), 398 pages, ISBN: 978-1789146356, $50.

Book coverAre they frivolous or practical? Follies are buildings constructed primarily for decoration, but they suggest another purpose through their appearance. In this visually stunning book, Celia Fisher describes follies in their historical and architectural context, looks at their social and political significance, and highlights their relevance today. She explores follies built in protest, follies in Oriental and Gothic styles, animal-related follies, waterside follies and grottoes, and, finally, follies in glass and steel. Featuring many fine illustrations, from historical paintings to contemporary photographs and prints, and taking in follies from Great Britain to Ireland, throughout Europe, and beyond, The Story of Follies is an amusing and informative guide to fanciful, charming buildings.

Celia Fisher has lectured and written widely on the history of plants and gardens in art. Her books include Flower: Paintings by Forty Great Artists and Tulip, the latter also published by Reaktion Books.



Introduction: A Taste of Follies
1  Seeking out the Origins
2  Some Names to Conjure with
3  Telling a Story
4  Concepts of Freedom and Victory
5  Hunting and Husbandry
6  Waterside Follies and Grottos
7  The Lure of the East
8  From Ruins to Gothic and Picturesque
9  Hermitages and Tree Hoses
10  Into the Future

Further Reading
Photo Acknowledgments


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