One of the more curious episodes in the history of the British Empire, the history of architecture, and the history of masculinity finds a large group of “Oxbridge-educated men of High Church persuasion” carrying the beauty of worship, in neo-Gothic form, to the settlers and indigenous peoples of the quarter of the world’s surface that constituted the British Empire in the late nineteenth century. Gothic churches and cathedrals of considerable ambition and architectural merit—however incongruous in relation to their localities— can be found in Christchurch, New Zealand; Adelaide, Australia; Knysna, South Africa; Zanzibar, Tanzania; Allahabad, India; Istanbul, Turkey; and Honolulu, Hawaii; as well as in other places beyond the formal reach of empire.

Imperial...

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