Harry Mount

Set In Stone?

The Secret Lives of Buildings: From the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in Thirteen Stories

By

Portobello Books 388pp £25 order from our bookshop

Not long before he died, Sir Christopher Wren took a stroll down to the City to see how St Paul’s was getting along. Turning the corner of Cheapside, he looked up at his masterpiece, and wept. Contrary to his design, a balustrade had been installed along the parapet of the cathedral; an utterly useless balustrade because no one would ever walk up there to admire it or need it to stop themselves falling off the roof.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,
    • 'The wicked are truly revolting and the rage is wholly understandable' on new thrillers by John Le… ,
    • In @aaciman's sequel to 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Erotic urgency has merged with middle age’s frugality of heart', s… ,
    • 'The repression of free speech in Uganda is common. Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 Press Freedom Index ranks Ugand… ,
    • RT : The Topeka School is out today! I reviewed it for and I'm psyched to see him talking at the Tate tonigh… ,