Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Notice: Gothic Forever, AWN Pugin, Lord Shrewsbury and the Rebuilding of Catholic England

Recently I saw the following notice of a forthcoming release from Spire Books which I think will be of interest to a number of NLM readers.

The book will be available this spring and is set to sell for £49.95.

'Gothic for Ever': A.W.N. Pugin, Lord Shrewsbury and the Rebuilding of Catholic England

Michael Fisher

ISBN 978-1-904965-36-7

A.W.N. Pugin (1812-1852) was the foremost propagandist of the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival, whose aim was the restoration of the ancient splendours of the Catholic Church. Turning this vision into reality required a wealthy and influential patron, and Pugin found one in John Talbot (1787-1852), sixteenth earl of Shrewsbury and England' s leading Catholic layman. Impressed by PuginÕs talent and enthusiasm, and by his devotion to the Church, Lord Shrewsbury provided Pugin with the means and the opportunities he needed, in and around his ancestral Staffordshire estate Ð Alton Towers. The Pugin/Shrewsbury partnership was arguably the most successful and creative of its kind in Victorian Britain, drawing the attention of scholars, artists and architects from all over the country and from overseas. The buildings themselves, and the close relationship between earl and architect, and their wider significance in the context of the Gothic and Catholic Revivals, are examined in detail in this book which has been published to mark the 200th anniversary of Pugin's birth.

'This remarkable and significant book is a major contribution to Pugin studies and a fitting contribution to the commemoration of the bicentenary of Pugin's birth in 2012.' - The Most Reverend Bernard Longley, M.A., S.T.L., Archbishop of Birmingham

'A remarkable insight into the dynamic relationship between A. W. N. Pugin and his patron John Talbot, the sixteenth earl of Shrewsbury, creators of Victorian Gothic.' - Paul Atterbury

'If you want to discover how great Pugin was, and how much the Church and the Gothic Revival owe to him, this is an essential study' - Anthony Symondson SJ

'This handsome book will add greatly to the pleasure of a visit to north Staffordshire' - Alexandra Wedgwood

Staffordshire-born Michael Fisher has had a lifelong interest in the work of Pugin in his home county. A history graduate of Leicester University and former Research Scholar at Keele, he is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. His publications include Pugin-land (2002), Hardman of Birmingham, Goldsmith and Glasspainter (2008), and Alton Towers: Past and Present (2009), and he has written articles for Country Life. He was an adviser to Time Team in their TV production of Pugin: God of Gothic (2006), and appeared in the programme. He is a member of the Fabric Committee of St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, and of the Alton Towers Heritage Committee. Ordained as an Anglican priest in 1979, he is based at the twelfth-century church of St Chad, Stafford.

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