In Ruins by Christopher Woodward
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In Ruins
By Christopher Woodward

In Ruins

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Format: Paperback

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In Ruins by Christopher Woodward

Book Awards

  • Shortlisted for Mail on Sunday / John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2002.

Book Description

Why are we so fascinated by ruins? Do we see them as jig-saws and riddles or romantic evocations of the damage of Time, complete with crumbling stone and ivy? Do they stir us to remember past glory or warn against future arrogance? In this elegant, provocative book , the brilliant young art-historian Christopher Woodward looks back to the start of the cult in the eighteenth century, when follies were built in English landscape gardens, artists and writers thrilled to Rome's poetry of decay, and in Paris the great chef Careme even served blancmanges shaped like classical ruins. He takes us from Troy and Pompei to Sicilian palaces and Nazi fantasies, and whirls us forward to modern times - to the shattered Statue of Liberty in Planet of the Apes, to Florida's Museum of Natural Phenomena, designed as a court-house dumped upside-down by a hurricane and to Chelsea Flower Show's brand-new 'Millennium Ruin'. Even the decay of an ordinary house can be as moving as the collapse of a temple - with its fascinating stories and characters, and its telling illustrations, In Ruins is full of strange delights and startling surprises, exploring the mysterious, melancholy charm of eternal fragments.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099289555
ISBN-10: 0099289555
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 130mm x 18mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 3-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Christopher Woodward

Guide to the Architecture of London by Christopher Woodward Guide to the Architecture of London, Paperback (July 2013)

'The definitive guide to London's architecture' INDEPENDENT Fully updated for this edition.

English Garden at Night by Christopher Woodward English Garden at Night, Hardback (April 2010)

Rutenberg's photographs are taken after midnight, creating a vision of stillness and mystery, a soliloquy of shadow and light emanating from leaves and flowers, hedgerows and trees.

Computing in Architectural Practice by Christopher Woodward Computing in Architectural Practice, Paperback (December 1997)

This volume covers the three main areas of architectural practice in which computers have been found most useful: office management; drawing; and project management. It should assist students and practising architects using computers for the first time as a tool in their daily work.

» View all books by Christopher Woodward


UK Kirkus Review » For centuries ruined buildings have exercised a powerful hold over the artistic, poetic and antiquarian imagination. Travellers, writers and painters have discovered, studied, and valorised them: they have been invoked as remnants of lost worlds, symbols of human decay, temples of tranquillity. In today's Britain, with its thriving heritage industry, many of us spend our Sunday afternoons clambering over the piles of stone now in the care of English heritage and the like. In this fine book, Christopher Woodward explores some of the emotional and cultural appeal which ruins have held for aesthetic sensibilities over a broad sweep of history and some of the work which it has inspired. His style, which combines autobiography and travelogue with art history and literary criticism, is fluent and engaging taking the reader on a grand tour of eighteenth-century proportions around architectural remnants and recreations from ancient Rome to Nazi Germany. He is particularly vivid on the work of Lord Byron at Newstead Abbey, on the impact which the dissolved monasteries had on the psyche of the seventeenth century and the creation of mock ruins and follies from the Romantic era onwards (Woodward is a former curator of the museum dedicated to Sir John Soane, one the best exponents of this form of revivalism). In short, this is a pleasurable and very well informed read which Chattos are to be congratulated for encasing in such an attractive and affordable package. (Kirkus UK)

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Recent books by Christopher Woodward close
Guide to the Architecture of London by Christopher Woodward
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Guide to the Architecture of London by Christopher Woodward
English Garden at Night by Christopher Woodward
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