The Contemporary Reviews of John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture, Paperback Book

The Contemporary Reviews of John Ruskin's The Seven Lamps of Architecture Paperback


When The Seven Lamps of Architecture was published in 1849,in a society where new books on Gothic architecture sold likenovels, it created an immediate sensation.

The book was tofound John Ruskin's reputation as Britain's foremost architecturalcritic.

But there was some perplexity about what he hadmeant by what he had written - as well as rumours of hiddenmeanings.

Some critics likened his writing style to the effectsof incense or even narcotics, warning the weak-minded tobeware lest they were swept away by his passages of `purpleprose'. There was also fierce establishment suspicion of Ruskin's `revolutionary'principles. 1848 had been a tumultuous year rightacross Europe. Venice was besieged by the Austrian army. Thearchbishop of Paris was shot by French rioters. In England theOctober 1847 `week of terror' had seen railway shares collapseand corn speculators bankrupted in the worst financial crisis ofthe nineteenth century.

By the following year thousands ofmiddle-class investors had lost everything.

The Chartistsmarched on London on Ruskin's wedding day, and across theIrish Sea more than a million people were dying in the GreatFamine.

These events cast their shadows across Ruskin's writing,and its reception. These forty-five major English-language reviews, gathered forthe first time into one volume by Robert Brownell, documentthe initial critical reaction to The Seven Lamps.

They give afascinating insight into contemporary thought, not only withregard to architecture, but also to religion, politics and socialissues.

This collection of reviews is an essential research tool foranyone interested in Ruskin, architecture and Victorian societyand culture.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 412 pages
  • Publisher: Pallas Athene Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Theory of architecture
  • ISBN: 9781843680796

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