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English Shops and Shopping

An Architectural History

Kathryn A. Morrison

View Inside Price: $50.00

February 9, 2004
352 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/4
117 b/w + 195 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300102192

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, in association with English Heritage

Shoppers in England from medieval times to the present have been beguiled by attractive merchandise, rarely heeding the details of their surroundings. This appealing book shifts the focus of attention for the first time to the architecture of retail buildings in England. It examines the history and character of retail settings since the Middle Ages, including shops, arcades, market halls, co-operative stores, department stores, multiples, supermarkets, precincts, and malls.
The book traces how various types of retail buildings developed in response to fashion, social and economic conditions, technological advances, and innovations in retailing methods. It reveals how the act of shopping helped to shape urban centers, and how shops of the near and distant past have left their mark on today’s high streets. Encompassing topics as diverse as the impact of chains like Marks & Spencer and the revolutionary effect of lifts on store planning, the book provides a unique record of English shop buildings throughout the centuries.

Kathryn A. Morrison is senior investigator, English Heritage, Cambridge.

“Kathryn Morrison’s book, the outcome of research carried out within English Heritage, provides the best survey yet of this building type in England, which will prove valuable for reference and for thinking about the wider implications of retailing in relation to architecture, urbanism, and conservation.”—Alan Powers, Architects Journal

“This fascinating book will interest an enormous spectrum of readers, from specialized scholars to the general public: historians, preservationists, retailers, tourists, architects, and designers of all types. It unfolds the rich history of ‘high street’ shopping in England, from the open market stalls of the Middle Ages to the ‘Big Box’ retailers of today. . . . This is a timely work, and a key one as well, for our own age of ‘post-criticality,’ marked by a fusion, among other things, of living and shopping. Highly recommended.”—Choice

“[A] magnificent historical guide . . . beautifully illustrated survey . . . a marvellous achievement.”—R.J.D., Contemporary Review

“Everyone will be able to find something to enjoy in this fascinating book.”—Julian Treuherz, Context

“A lavish study.”—Cornerstone

“A magnificent architectural history of the nation’s shops, from their medieval market place beginnings to today’s super malls and beyond.”—Katie Campbell, Evening Standard (London)

“Although it is beautifully illustrated with historic and contemporary photographs, engravings and drawings, this is no mere coffee-table book. . . . An absorbing book.”—Kate Konopicky, Gazette

“This is my kind of book. Wonderfully fascinating, detailed and knowledgeable, clear-eyed, written in plain English and with every illustration relevant. . . . The best thing about Morrison’s book is that it steers absolutely clear of sentiment or nostalgia.”—Hugh Pearman, Sunday Times (London)

“[A] scholarly and loving study . . . lavishly illustrated.”—Paul Barker, Times Literary Supplement

"[An] absorbing study. . . . superbly illustrated."—Elizabeth Williamson, Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society

“A wealth of visual and factual stimulation.”—Greg Smith, Urban Bulletin

"This work comprises a magnificent collection of visual material and concise history drawn from primary and secondaray data. . . . An excellent contribution to an under researched area and an excellent resource."—Claire Walsh, Institute of Historical Research

Shortlisted for the 2005 Royal Institute of British Architects Award

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