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From mock ruins and other fanciful garden follies to extravagant manor houses and castles, from simple cottages to Hudson River villas and the mansions of Palm Beach, author Kathleen Mahoney examines Gothic's inventive and exuberant design heritage over the last three centuries. Some 30 structures - many open to the public - in the United States and Great Britain are explored inside and out in beautiful full-color photographs and historic engravings. In addition, the author weaves an intriguing social history that conveys the romantic spirit with which tastemakers, architects, and designers have captured the medieval past.
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The revival of Gothic style, which began in the eighteenth century, has been associated with a range of rationales that run from striking horror to reaching for the heavens. Mahoney, senior editor for House Beautiful, has produced an impressively illustrated survey of the Gothic style that starts with examples from the English landscape garden and ends with the "transformation" of Gothic in the U.S. since the Civil War. Individual chapters provide a brief history of each example and include information regarding the site's present condition and availability for viewing. Mahoney vividly describes the personalities of notable architects and designers, and her analysis is attuned to the irony inherent in this incredibly varied and sometimes complex aesthetic. William Huchting
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