Christopher Woodward

Bountiful Buttocks

William Kent: Architect, Designer and Opportunist


Jonathan Cape 320pp £25 order from our bookshop

In this book on the eighteenth-century designer William Kent, Tim Mowl recalls how he ‘outed’ Horace Walpole in a lecture to the Georgian Group: ‘A number of ladies walked out in protest. It was not just a matter of “no sex please, we’re Georgians”’ he writes ‘but also one of “let us have no sharp, realistic standards of appreciation of the true, coarse tone of the period”.’

That lecture is now a legend in architectural history circles. ‘What do you remember?’ I asked someone who was there. ‘One or two people definitely walked out. Maybe three. But it was a lunchtime lecture and at least one was nipping out to get a sandwich.’ 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter