Scholars of everyday buildings are notorious for one of two missteps. Some spend so much energy on the minutia of a singular site that they fail to connect that site to prevailing historical narratives and in so doing miss the opportunity to challenge and reshape those narratives. Others spend so much time recording and establishing building typologies that they seem not to explore what those typologies tell us about the human experience. In his well-illustrated book on eighteenth-century outbuildings, Michael Olmert falls victim to neither tendency. Olmert——a specialist in English literature and winner of three Emmy Awards——rightly claims in his introduction that the book's focus is "neither connoisseurship nor aesthetics" (1). In eight chapters, each dedicated to a different eighteenth-century outbuilding type, he provides a general introduction to the common architectural forms and features associated with each type and then animates...

You do not currently have access to this content.