David Collard

Bard of Subtopia

Ian Nairn: Words in Place


Five Leaves Publications 160pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

Ian Nairn was an awkward, diffident, solitary man and, like Philip Larkin, a very English type of romantic – glum, drab and wistful. Gifted with a preternaturally acute sense of place and a richly evocative vocabulary, unhampered by any professional qualifications, he was the finest architectural critic and topographical writer of his generation. Through his journalism, books and television documentaries Nairn promoted new ways of looking at our surroundings. He made connoisseurs of us all. 

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