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Pugin, A.Welby

An apology for a work entitled “Contrasts;” being a defence of the assertions advanced in that publication, against the various attacks lately made upon it. By A.Welby Pugin, author of the book in question.

Birmingham, “printed for the author, by R.P.Stone and Son, 36, Bull Street” 1837.

Reference: 11580
Price: £850 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. 49 + (1)pp. Recent quarter morocco, marbled boards.

First and only edition of this exceptionally scarce pamphlet by Pugin. It was written by Pugin primarily as a response to an attack on his controversial book Contrasts made in a pamphlet by an anonymous architect (BAL Cat 2728), and it gave Pugin the opportunity to restate in the strongest manner his conviction that “everything grand, edifying, and noble in art is the result of feelings produced by the Catholic religion on the human mind” and that “destruction of art, irreverence towards religion… and a complete loss of all the noble perceptions of mankind, have been the result of Protestantism”. In maintaining these propositions he points to the lack of respect showed by the Church of England for the fabrics of its cathedral cloisters and for the solemnities of Christian worship, and attacks the anonymous architect’s criticism of the “very mean edifices” currently being built and used by the English Catholic community as being “about as preposterous, as reproaching a man for being unable to see, whose eyes have been forcibly put out”. In a separate section at the end of the pamphlet Pugin discusses the state of the arts in England, and argues similarly that it is only from the Catholic church that the “arts can look for real protection and advancement”. The architectural critic, W.H.Leeds, writing in 1843, already described the pamphlet as a “now very scarce, little tract”, and it is interesting that although the British Architectural Library holds a copy of the pamphlet to which this is the reply, it does not possess a copy of the present pamphlet itself. The pamphlet should in no circumstances be confused with Pugin’s subsequent Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England, 1843 (see that item).