God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain (Hardcover)

God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain By Rosemary Hill Cover Image

God's Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain (Hardcover)


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Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812–1852) was one of Britain’s greatest architects, and his short career one of the most dramatic in architectural history. Born in 1812, the son of a French draftsman, at 15 Pugin was working for King George IV at Windsor Castle. By the time he was 21 he had been shipwrecked, bankrupted, and widowed. Nineteen years later he died, insane and disillusioned, having changed the face and the mind of British architecture in works as revered as the House of Lords and the clock tower at Westminster, known as Big Ben.  


God’s Architect is the first modern biography of this extraordinary figure. Rosemary Hill draws upon thousands of unpublished letters and drawings to re-create Pugin’s life and work as architect, propagandist, and Gothic designer, as well as the turbulent story of his three marriages, the bitterness of his last years, and his sudden death at 40. It is the work of an exceptional historian and biographer.


Rosemary Hill is a writer and historian, and has published widely on 19th- and 20th-century cultural history.
Product Details ISBN: 9780300151619
ISBN-10: 0300151616
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2009
Pages: 656
Language: English
“A magnificent biography, as sumptuous and intricate as anything Pugin built . . . a properly glorious monument.”—John Carey, Sunday Times
— John Carey

“As a lucid work of architectural history and as the readable biography of a most protean and brilliant man, it is worthy of the best of his buildings.”—Colm Tóibín, Irish Times

— Colm Tóibín

“A very remarkable book about a very remarkable man . . . This book will interest not only those who delight in architecture, but also anyone who is interested in the Victorian Age.”—A. N. Wilson, Daily Mail

— A. N. Wilson

“An excellent and detailed biography . . . Pugin changed the face of England forever. This book can be recommended for its disciplined but convincing championship of the most important English architect of the nineteenth century.”—Peter Ackroyd, The Times

— Peter Ackroyd

“Rosemary Hill has written a superb study of this true romantic and tragic original. It is scholarly, but intimate, warm and readable too, immediately becoming the standard work.”—Stephen Bayley, Observer

— Stephen Bayley

“This is surely the best biography of a British architect yet written: an enthralling book.”—Simon Bradley, Evening Standard

— Simon Bradley

“One of the great biographies of our day.”—Michael J. Lewis, A. A. Files

— Michael J. Lewis

“Rosemary Hill is a wonderful writer. She has not only given us Pugin's story--the life of a hugely important British artist--she has placed his work in a rich and intelligently explained cultural context.”—K. Anthony Appiah

— K. Anthony Appiah

"Rosemary Hill's book is the first modern biography of Pugin, and it is a considerable feat both in its painstaking original research and the way in which Hill, deals with architectural history, relating Pugin personally to his buildings, justifying brilliantly her biographical approach."—Fiona MacCarthy, The New York Review of Books

— Fiona MacCarthy