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Hardback320 PagesSize: 290 × 240 mm
300 colour illustrations and 50 B&W illustrations
ISBN: 9781848223714Publication: April 28, 2022

The Master Builder

William Butterfield and His Times

Nicholas Olsberg


£55.00 GBP

Available for preorder: this book will be shipped on its publication date of April 28, 2022

  • Illustrated with over 200 of Butterfield’s drawings and more than 60 specially commissioned photographs, this is an insightful survey of Butterfield’s architecture and a compelling portrait of the Victorian era in which they appeared

  • Projects presented in depth range from the signal work at All Saint’s Margaret Street, Keble College, and Rugby School to such lesser known, but equally influential works as Exeter Grammar School, the pioneering Cheddar home for the ‘sick poor’, the Coleridge’s great country house in Devon, and the village parsonages, cottages and schools in which the characteristics of the Arts and Craft movement first appeared

William Butterfield was the most daring, rigorous and brilliant architect of his age, whose 60-year practice spanned the entire Victorian era, and whose major works are found from the Firth of Clyde and shores of Belfast to the hills of Dublin and the cliffs of Cardiff and Devon. This book addresses the emergence of a modern society, its expansive institutions and its changing moral code, exploring how Butterfield responded to and advanced that transformation in the national life. It reflects the changing emphasis of Butterfield’s work: first, the revival, rebuilding and reform of the country parish; then the place of the church and the agents of social health in the burgeoning town and city; third, the quiet revolution in secondary education and college life; and finally, sites of refuge, sanctuary, repose and remembrance. Drawing extensively on the literature and discourse of the time, each chapter discusses a societal shift and surveys Butterfield’s most important architectural contributions to this. The chapters are followed by portfolios of photographs and extraordinary sets of coloured contract drawings of projects selected to show the originality, conviction and variety of Butterfield’s designs. Woven through the book are characterisations of the often colourful men and women who were Butterfield’s patrons and associates, including Gladstone, Pusey, Nightingale, and such lesser known but equally crucial figures as Frederick Temple; ‘Mother’ Matilda Blanche Gibbs; the writer Charlotte Yonge; and a score of reforming vicars from the pious William Butler to the radical eccentric, Edward Monro.
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