Public Architecture in Ireland, 1680–1760

Edward McParland; With photographs by David Davison

View Inside Price: $70.00

December 11, 2001
252 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2
220 b/w + 28 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300090642

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

This innovative book examines the public architecture of Ireland from 1680 to 1760, a crucial period during which the country undertook the combined tasks of recovering from war and constructing a new and stable society. New buildings, and new types of buildings, were needed to express and sustain this society. Architectural historian Edward McParland explores the role of public architecture in this enterprise, focusing on public buildings as works of architecture and art, while also discussing the political, social, and economic contexts in which they were built. More than one hundred specially commissioned photographs by David Davison beautifully document this cultural process.

The book opens with a discussion of the people who were involved in the creation of public architecture and a description of the physical appearance of Ireland at the time, including its roads and harbors, its market houses and churches. The author then presents detailed portraits of key public buildings, among them The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, The Royal Barracks, Dublin Castle, Trinity College Dublin, and Edward Lovett Pearce’s Parliament House. Drawing on extensive research in archives throughout Britain and Ireland, McParland documents in vivid detail the architectural and social importance of these remarkable public buildings.

Edward McParland is lecturer in the department of the history of art and fellow of Trinity College Dublin. David Davison is an architectural and commercial photographer working in Dublin.

“In this beautiful book, Edward McParland conveys in glorious detail both in his illustrations and in his text, the development of civility as an eighteenth-century concept.”—David Davison, Eighteenth Century Studies

“[A] monumental study of Irish public buildings. . . . In the best Yale tradition, the pictures neatly, and beautifully, illustrate a text that maintains the exceptional standards of McParland’s earlier works.”—Giles Worsley, Country Life

“This is the most important study of the subject that has been published so far and it is unlikely to be superseded. . . . Not only is this book a model of what architectural writing should be: crisp, spontaneous, learned, penetrating, accessible, where illuminating connections are made, the writing informed by passion and perception, and the reader enabled to look at the buildings with new eyes and want to see them with refreshed enthusiasm. It is also a model of book design and illustration. . . . Few books more richly deserve the glittering prizes that it is bound to secure. This book puts the author amongst the leading architectural historians in the field.”—Anthony Symondson, Studies

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