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Emmett, John T.

The state of English architecture, reprinted from The Quarterly Review 1872 ; The bane of English architecture, reprinted from The British Quarterly Review 1881 ; The hope of English architecture ; Religious art, reprinted from the British Quarterly Review 1875 ; The Completion of St. Paul’s ; The “completion” of St. Paul’s and “Restorations”, revised and reprinted from The Quarterly and British Quarterly Reviews, with additions.

London, Unwin Brothers, The Gresham Press (1872); London, Hodder & Stoughton (1881); (from The Quarterly Review) (nd) ; Hodder & Stoughton (1875) ; (from The Quarterly Review) (nd) ; London, Unwin Bros., The Gresham Press (nd).

Reference: 6562
Price: £230 [convert currency]

Full Description

8vo. 6 items bound in 1. 51+(1)pp ; 48pp ; 36pp (numbered 353-388) ; 47+(1)pp ; (46)pp, numbered 341-386 ; 100pp. Recent cloth, spine gilt, original wrappers of four of the pamphlets bound in.

A volume of reprinted articles and offprints of reviews by the outspoken architectural critic John T. Emmett, a frequent contributor to the Quarterly and British Quarterly Reviews. Emmett (1828-1898), himself an architect with an address in Islington (although not a member of the RIBA), decries the state of contemporary architecture in England and condemns his colleagues for the ‘inanity’ of their contributions to the major building and restoration projects of the day, such as the Law Courts, Blackfriars Bridge and the restoration of St. Paul’s. These explosive attacks on the architectural establishment resulted from his staunch belief, derived largely from Ruskin, in the superiority of fourteenth-century Gothic over extravagant hybrid Gothic Revival, and of the honest, hardworking master craftsman over the ‘soft-handed’ drawing-board architect. His articles certainly had an effect, as in Emmett is constantly responding to counter-criticism, often in the form of letters to The Times and The Guardian, from the architects he has vilified. The Unwin firm issued a volume in 1891 reprinting the text of six of Emmett’s articles and reviews (a slightly diffferent selection, omitting those discussing St.Paul’s Cathedral), but both the volume of 1891 and the individual pamphlets are rare. Of the “reprinted” items (as opposed to offprints), the British Library holds only one, that on “Religious Art”.