At over 500 pages this seems at first a big book on a relatively short life. But Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812–1852) was so prodigiously active and Rosemary Hill is so assiduous and detailed in her research that there is much to say, and far from being verbose, her text is terse and accurate, even economical. The creative individual is the focus, and the treatment is strictly chronological, which was perhaps necessary to show the many-layered complexity of the career. It is more biography than architectural monograph, but the work is consistently and perceptively discussed in relation to the life, and an extended work list is included. Because of its sparse illustration, it can hardly replace earlier studies like that of Phoebe Stanton or Atterbury's collection: its role rather is to cast new light on Pugin's character and circumstances and to...

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