John Martin Robinson

By Religious Design

God’s Architect: Pugin and the Building of Romantic Britain


Allen Lane / The Penguin Press 602pp £30 order from our bookshop

Pugin was an astonishing figure, and the most astonishing thing about him, considering the scale of his achievement, was the shortness of his life. By the time he was twenty-one he had been shipwrecked, bankrupted and widowed. He then became an architect, using his youthful training as draughtsman and stage designer to recreate the Middle Ages. In the next nineteen years, he transformed British architecture, became a Catholic, designed twenty-two churches, three cathedrals, numerous houses, a Cistercian monastery and the interior of the Palace of Westminster – down to inkwells and coat stands.

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