In his article “Mighty monuments – or neo-Gothic horrors?” for The Spectator, Simon Bradley reviews the content of Gavin Stamp’s latest book, a biography, which looks at the life and work of Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Mighty monuments – or neo-Gothic horrors?

Architectural styles always divide opinion. In Gothic for the Steam Age: An Illustrated Biography of George Gilbert Scott, Gavin Stamp delivers a substantial biographical essay for Scott and shows off his architectural preferences.

During his architectural career, George Gilbert Scott favoured a Late Gothic style for churches and a version of Queen Anne for secular commissions. This can be seen across his work. Beautiful, timeless and unmistakeably medieval, most of his work is approved of by modern architects and is revered by historians.

But his work wasn’t loved by everyone. As Simon Bradley writes, “Not only was his architecture hopelessly démodé; he was also accused of hasty over-production.” He further writes, “Worse, a great deal of this work concerned church restoration, which popular sentiment, following William Morris, often regards as a Bad Thing even today.”

Taking a new look at Sir George Gilbert Scott

Gavin Stamp’s book takes a new look at the life and work of George Gilbert Scott. It looks at his drive to succeed and the inspiration for his work. It is not a critique of his being – but a historical account of his being. It’s a refreshing take on the man himself.

You can read Simon Bradley’s original article on The Spectator.