A History of Architecture in London: Arranged to Illustrate the Course of Architecture in England until 1800

By Walter H. Godfrey | Go to book overview

AUTHOR'S PREFACE.

To write a simple, concise, and practical guide to the historical styles of architecture, and at the same time to reveal the opportunity which the buildings of London afford for the study of the subject, is the twofold aim of this little volume, and its scope is strictly conditioned by this double purpose. The person of ordinary education who has not any special technical knowledge is often at a loss to obtain help in understanding such famous buildings as he sees, and in recognising their period. Most of the books on architecture that do not pretend to the rank of important treatises are discursive and fragmentary in character, and seldom attempt a complete or bird's-eye view of the whole subject. The leading characteristics of the various styles of building are, however, so broad and comparatively easy to classify that it is possible to include in a very small compass the necessary guiding lines for the would-be student.

For some time the author's studies in regard to the ancient buildings of London have convinced him that the material in and around this great city is of so ample a nature that the history of English architecture from the Norman Conquest can be well illustrated from it alone. Furthermore, the rich contents of the British Museum and the national collections at South Kensington make it possible to provide for the Londoner, or the visitor to London, almost all that is necessary to trace the course of architecture antecedent to its history in our own land. Within a radius of a few miles of Bloomsbury lie enough examples of the work of past ages to afford a glimpse into the continuous history of architecture from B.C. 500 to A.D. 1900,

-ix-

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