George Frederick Bodley and the Later Gothic Revival in Britain and America

Michael Hall

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British architect George Frederick Bodley (1827–1907) fundamentally shaped the architecture, art, and design of the Anglican Church throughout England and the world; his work survives in the United States, Australia, India, and Italy, as well as the United Kingdom. This important book is the first to explore the life and work of this major Gothic Revival architect, a man with an evolving outlook on style and aesthetics who believed that every element of a building must be part of an integrated design strategy. A close colleague of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones, Bodley was the first major patron of Morris’s stained glass and, like Morris, was an accomplished textile and wallpaper designer. In 1874 Bodley founded Watts and Company—now celebrating its 140th anniversary—to manufacture ecclesiastical vestments, textiles, and wallpapers. In a seamless blend of architectural, art, and church history, this lavish volume features over 200 illustrations and offers impeccable scholarship on the work of an influential visionary of Victorian design.
Michael Hall is a noted architectural historian and the author of several books on Victorian architecture and the Gothic Revival.

'George Frederick Bodley was the finest and most consistent practitioner of High Victorian Gothic architecture, and as such he richly merits this scholarly, well-illustrated and beautifully produced monograph. . .Hall gives us a vivid portrait of this spirited porcupine, analysing his principles and his undeviating pursuit of beauty (as he saw it). . .This is a great book to honour a great architect.’—Peyton Skipwith, Literary Review

'. . .a brilliant study of the society and culture that produced some of the loveliest and most intellectually sophisticated churches of any age. . .should become essential reading for understanding the later phases of the Gothic Revival – perhaps England’s greatest architectural contribution to civilisation.’—Gavin Stamp, Country Life.

‘Michael Hall and Yale have combined to give him the magnificent tombstone tomb he deserves, academically disciplined, enthusiastically argued, flatteringly illustrated, merrily readable about his life as well as his art, his many pupils and assistants the subject of a useful appendix… I suspect this is a great book; it is certainly the surprise of the year.’—Brian Sewell, Evening Standard.

This, then, is indisputably the standard work on its subject: not just Bodley, but also the late-19th century Gothic Revival that he was so instrumental in shaping. Architectural historians will love it. It should also be read —and read with enjoyment — by anyone interested in the people who built some of our most intriguing churches.’—Rev. Dr. William Whyte, Church Times.

‘This book is a wonderful tribute to an unerring talent of the Victorian age who also played a part in the grandest architecture of the new century.’—Marcus Binney, the Times.

‘…Michael Hall weighs in for the defence with a biography that could not be bettered, the result of years of research, and visiting and analysing Bodley’s buildings. He discusses them in prose that calls for concentration but always rewards it, and presents them by means of illustrations that exactly make the point he wants them to make…’—Mark Girouad, Apollo.

‘There is much here to enjoy, not least the excellent illustrations (including splendid new photographs by Geoff Brandwood) and the sheer aesthetic delights of the book itself’—James Bettley, Victorian Society.

‘Let the impartial reader be assured: this book is a masterpiece, and one that deserves close reading… Hall’s Bodley does more than reaffirm its subject’s stature as among the great British architects, it raises the whole topic of Victorian church architecture to a higher plane of interpretation.’—Andrew Saint, Burlington.

‘Bodley, the architect and the man, is well served by this ground-breaking monograph.’—Kenneth Powell, the Art Newspaper.

‘The reader has been taken on an epic journey, which contains not only the career of Bodley but a great deal more… the book is extremely rich in illustrations and a thorough index. All in all, this is a remarkable book to which it is impossible to do justice in a review. ‘—Peter Faulkner, Journal of the William Morris Society.

“One of the finest monographs on any English architect produced in a very long time. . . . All lovers of the architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would be remiss in not having Mr. Hall’s book on their shelves.”—Evan McWilliams, Sacred Architecture

‘This is biography of the best and broadest kind… A brief review cannot do justice to the extraordinary richness of detail Hall provides… One hope subsequent scholarship will follow Hall’s model, itself analogous to Bodley’s own: a refined yet dynamic synthesis of details revealing society’s desire for beautiful architecture.’—Mary Schoeser, William Shipley Group for RSA History

"George Frederick Bodley and the Later Gothic Revival in Britain and America may be considered one of the finest monographs on any English architect produced in a very long time. . . . All lovers of the architecture of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries would be remiss in not having Mr. Hall's book on their shelves."—Evan McWilliams, Sacred Architecture
ISBN: 9780300208023
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
508 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
200 color + 100 b/w illus.