'The Myth of Goths and Vandals in British Architecture'
Fri, April 30, 2010 • 3:00 PM • Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206
Bernard Porter, University of Newcastle
Victorian Gothic is the only architectural style that originated in England. It then spread out into the wider world. But it was contentious at the time, provoking a famous and ill-tempered 'Battle of the Styles' in the 1850s. It has been much misunderstood ever since. Two popular myths are that it was mainly a nostalgic and escapist style, and an attempt at a 'national' one. In fact it was basically neither of these, but the conflicting views help to explain its international reach.
Bernard Porter is Professor of History at Newcastle. He has also taught at Cambridge, Hull, Yale, Sydney and Copenhagen universities. His famous book on the history of the British Empire is entitled The Lion's Share. He has also written on Secret Service history, and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. He is presently completing a book on 'The Battle of the Styles'.