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John Soane: An Accidental Romantic

Darley, Gillian

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0300081650 / ISBN 13: 9780300081657
Published by Yale Univ Pr, New Haven, 1999
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Penobscot Books (Searsport, ME, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: John Soane: An Accidental Romantic

Publisher: Yale Univ Pr, New Haven

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

English architect John Soane created dramatic and unpredictable buildings that continue to inspire architects worldwide. This biography tells the story of the self-made, irascible architect's turbulent life and the remarkable buildings he designed, including the Bank of England.

Review:

Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was one of the most influential, if eccentric, English architects. Most of his designs were so radical for their time that they were never built--just as well, some critics say. But in this ambitiously produced but disappointingly illustrated biography (most of the reproductions are in black-and-white), Gillian Darley champions this son of a bricklayer. Soane was a self-made man who tended to be egotistic and quarrelsome; he displayed sufficient dilettantish genius to discredit him in the eyes of his peers. Despite that, by 1800 he was rich and successful--the personal architect to two prime ministers. He designed the Bank of England, the Dulwich Picture Gallery, and Westminster's Law Courts, as well as Britain's beloved red telephone box. His unprecedented use of neoclassical elements and eclectic styles gave Londoners a chance to marvel at theatrical effects and spatial trickery. Soane's greatest achievement, though, remains his home in Lincoln's Inn Fields, which he bequeathed to the nation upon his death. The Soane Museum is as complex and intriguing as the man himself. If not for Darley's diligent research and sensitivity, readers wouldn't know quite how troubled the man was behind this glorious facade. --Lilian Pizzichini, Amazon.co.uk

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