Lectures on Gothic architecture, chiefly in relation to St.George’s church at Doncaster; delivered in the town-hall there, at Christmas, 1854.
Doncaster, George and Thomas Brooke nd (1855).
8vo. (4) + 111 + (3) + 12pp, (6) woodcut plates. Recent wrappers.
First edition, second issue, of these trenchant lectures on Gothic architecture by Edmund Beckett Denison (1816-1905), more familiar to architectural historians under his subsequent title Lord Grimthorpe (the well-written biography of him by Peter Ferriday, published in 1957, still repays reading). Doncaster’s mediaeval parish church had been destroyed by fire in February 1853 and Denison, whose family played a dominant role in the town’s commercial life, took it upon himself to play a significant advisory role in the church’s restoration, for which designs had been supplied by George Gilbert Scott. Although Denison was a lawyer, not an architect, the conviction with which he expresses his opinions in these lectures – and the scorn with which he treats recent public buildings in classical style by so distinguished an architect as C.R.Cockerell (p.21) – foreshadows his subsequent role in the destructive restoration of St.Albans Cathedral in the late 1870s and 1880s.When originally published, at some date shortly after 28 February 1855, the date of the volume’s preface, the text stopped at the foot of p.111, with a final unnumbered page blank except for the printers’ imprint. This second issue contains a further unpaginated leaf carrying a “postscript”, and twelve additional pages listing donations to the rebuilding fund as of 5 April 1855.We have previously had through our hands a number of copies of an enlarged second edition, published in 1856, but no copy of either issue of this original edition has come our way until now.