Gothic and the Architectural Imagination, 1740–1840

Authored by: Nicole Reynolds

The Gothic World

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  October  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415637442
eBook ISBN: 9780203490013
Adobe ISBN: 9781135053062


 Download Chapter



In eighteenth-century Britain, antiquarian efforts to evaluate and canonize the nation's most enduring early authors were closely associated with an archaeological enthusiasm for the study and recovery of what was perceived to be a native architectural style: a renewed appreciation of buildings — both extant and ruined — from the Middle Ages. Indeed, literary scholars frequently drew an analogy between Gothic architecture and British authors who were understood to have worked outside the classical tradition. In 1715, John Hughes introduced his edition of Spenser with the assertion that to compare the Faery Queen with

Models of Antiquity, would be like drawing a Parallel between the Roman and the Gothick architecture. In the first there is doubtless a more natural Grandeur and Simplicity: in the latter we find great Mixtures of Beauty and Barbarism yet assisted by the Invention of a Variety of inferior Ornaments; and tho the former is more majestick in the whole, the latter may be very surprising and agreeable in its Parts.

(Hughes 1715: lx–lxi)

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.