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The work of Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) includes the Cenotaph in Whitehall, much of Imperial New Delhi and especially his masterpiece, Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), Queen Mary's dolls' house and Hampstead Garden Suburb. But his greatest heritage is the traditional Edwardian country house, an architectural style he made his own, using local materials and often working with Gertrude Jekyll who planted the gardens for his family homes. This is a full biography of a witty, complex personality, a man who had little formal education, who loved jokes and hated growing up. It is also a portrait of an extraordinary marriage. His wife, Emily, fell in love with Krishnamurti, 21 years her junior and believed to be the reincarnation of a god, and she thereafter spent her time and her husband's money promoting Theosophy, a Hindu-inspired cult. Lutyens's failure to find a common language with Emily possibly drove him to achieve the remarkable communication through the language of architecture which characterises his best work.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780712668224
ISBN-10: 0712668225
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 37mm)
Pages: 496
Imprint: Pimlico
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 20-Feb-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Jane Ridley

Jane Ridley is Lutyens's great-granddaughter, and this biography was authorised by his last surviving daughter, Mary, who died in 1999. Jane Ridley has read over 5,000 letters between Ned Lutyens and his wife Emily, and she travelled to New Delhi and Washington to research her book, which paints a devastating yet entertaining picture of Edwardian society. Jane Ridley is an historian at Buckingham University where she teaches a course on biography. Her previous books include The Letters of Edwin Lutyens (co-edited with Clayre Percy), The Letters of Arthur Balfour and Lady Elcho (co-edited with Clayre Percy) and The Young Disraeli described by Andrew Marr in the Independent as 'a rich, dense and thoughtful biography which may-become the definitive one', and by John Grigg in the Sunday Telegraph as 'a major new biography-it is difficult to see her work being superseded'.

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