List 87: Alternatives to Modernism

The books offered here represent the second of four intended selections from the working library formed by the late Gavin Stamp (1948-2017), architectural historian, architectural journalist, and fearless champion of the conservation of Britain’s built architectural heritage.

A third list will offer his books on Victorian architecture, and a final list will offer his books on British architectural history from the time of Wren and Hawksmoor onwards.

The books that we are offering do not represent the totality of Stamp’s working library, for other titles were retained by his widow or given in his memory to friends, and we did not purchase a number of architectural titles that were of slight commercial value or which were of lesser interest to us as booksellers. Additionally, we left behind on his bookshelves, as lying slightly outside our own specialist area of bookselling, Stamp’s substantial assemblage of books on early twentieth century sculpture and war memorials, put together by him as a by-product of his abiding regret at the tragic loss of life occasioned by the First World War.

The books that we are offering nonetheless provide a very reasonable impression of the general character of Stamp’s accumulated library. It is proper to note that a meaningful proportion of the books contain loosely inserted printed material and, in a few cases, also manuscript material. We have drawn attention in our descriptions of individual items to the presence in them of autograph letters addressed to Stamp or of copies of typescripts by Stamp, but we have not generally noted where volumes include inserted printed texts of reviews, obituaries or periodical articles, even where these were written by Stamp himself. Additionally, many of the books published from the late 1970s onwards were copies sent to Stamp for review, or were gifts to Stamp from their authors, and these occasionally contain short typed business notes, invitations to book launches, or related publishers’ promotional literature, most of which have gone unmentioned in our descriptions.

We are grateful to Rosemary Hill (Mrs. Gavin Stamp) for allowing us to reproduce her photograph of Gavin Stamp taken circa 1998.