80 B&W illustrations
ISBN: 9781848222502 • Publication: November 24, 2017
The Wessex Project: Thomas Hardy, Architect
Available for preorder: this book will be shipped on its publication date of November 24, 2017
DescriptionThomas Hardy’s architectural career is not considered a success. Seen as a mere prelude to his literary output, it is most often summed up by reference to his ‘shockingly’ suburban home, Max Gate. But this new book argues the opposite: that far from being incidental, Hardy’s architectural thinking is integral to a full understanding of his life’s work.
Reconstructed from the wealth of little-known drawings, photographs, experimental illustrations and built work he produced or oversaw, and an architecturally biased re-reading of his novels, this book sets out a startling new vision of Hardy’s work, and how it has shaped England in fact and fiction.
It exposes the architectural thinking underlying Hardy’s novels and shows how his imaginary realm Wessex can be seen as a forerunner of the experimental architectural projects of our own times – in which architects weave together design, description, polemic, and images to form highly developed and challenging unbuilt projects, published in books designed to change the way we see the world.
The book makes a compelling case for listing Hardy among the greatest of all conceptual architects, while recognising him as one of the most influential and active conservationists and architectural critics of all time.