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Sir John Soane

Sir John Soane
Enlightenment Thought and the Royal Academy Lectures

Out of Print

Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Architecture

  • Date Published: May 1996
  • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 2001
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521440912

Out of Print

Unavailable - out of print January 2001
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About the Authors
  • This novel and thoroughly documented study of Sir John Soane (1753–1837) contains the fullest intellectual biography yet published of any English architect. It also sheds new light on eighteenth-century British and continental architectural theory. Dr Watkin enters Soane's private dialogue with an astonishing array of philosophers, architectural theorists, art-historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists, whose writings he studied while preparing his lectures on architecture at the Royal Academy from 1809. The texts he studied range from classical authors to many of his most famous contemporaries. The book relates Soane's reading to his own architecture and to his lectures, which are published here in full for the first time, with over one hundred and fifty of his superb lecture illustrations, including twenty-five in colour. Recipient of the 1997 Sir Banister Fletcher Prize

    • Sheds new light on the views on architectural theory of one of the most admired architects of the late eighteenth century
    • Relates Soane's theories to his own architecture and illustrates his thought in the first full edition of his lectures
    • Reproduces many of Soane's superb lecture illustrations, many not previously reproduced
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'These brilliant, passionate, wayward lectures have been republished with an equally brilliant sequence of introductory essays in Sir John Soane, Enlightenment Thought and the Royal Academy Lectures by David Watkin.' The Independent

    'David Watkin's intellectual biography is graceful, scholarly and rewarding. His efforts have been matched by Cambridge University Press, who have produced the most lavish book of architectural scholarship in many years.' The Times

    '… by far the most significant single contribution to the study of Sir John Soane.' The Observer

    'The book certainly fills a huge hole in the Soane literature: it should be perused by all students of the Enlightenment, Neoclassicism, and the architectural concerns of the early decades of the nineteenth century.' Journal of Architectural Conservation

    'This mammoth volume projects architectural history onto a new plane … Never before … has [architecture] been so comprehensively analysed as a vehicle for thought.' Country Life

    '… a beautifully written book, and so a joy to read … It is a lodestar for any future work on Soane.' Apollo

    'David Watkin's intellectual biography is graceful, scholarly and rewarding.' The Times

    '… one of the finest works on English Architecture to have appeared in the last decade.' The Sunday Telegraph

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1996
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521440912
    • length: 783 pages
    • dimensions: 283 x 228 x 67 mm
    • weight: 3.75kg
    • contains: 126 b/w illus. 25 colour illus.
    • availability: Unavailable - out of print January 2001
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Part I. The Intellectual Preparation:
    1. Architectural discourse from Wotton to Sandby
    2. Soane's relations with the Royal Academy
    3. First principles and the myth of origin
    4. The architecture of character and sensation
    5. The symbolic language of antiquity
    Part II. The Royal Academy Lectures:
    6. Analysis of the lectures
    7. Soane and his lecture illustrations
    8. The relation between Soane's ideas and his architecture
    Text of lectures I–XII

  • Author

    David Watkin, University of Cambridge

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