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Mark Girouard

Friendships

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Friendships

Mark Girouard

  • A selective autobiography of the most successful, most celebrated and most important architectural historian of his generation. 
  • Anecdotal memoirs of the lives and misbehaviour of many central figures in the cultural life of Britain in the second half of the twentieth century. 
  • Elegant and moving reminiscences with significant Irish, Catholic and architectural resonance by a well established and much loved writer with many successful books in the catalogue. 

This is, in effect, a hymn to friendships, and what they have meant to the architectural historian Mark Girouard, portrayed by means of thirty letters or other communications from friends, and by Girouard’s writing about them. Some are grand, a few are or were famous, but others not at all so, for the point of the book is that friendship has nothing at all to do with fame or success, but with that sudden click of reciprocity, or pleasure in companionship, that helps make life worth living.

So the reader can savour walks with John Betjeman through the ruins of blitzed London, or with Denys Lasdun through the concrete dramas of the National Theatre; be regaled with stories about the Gorbals by Ruby Milton, the champion child dancer from Glasgow; eat disgusting rook pie off Bourbon gold plate with the Duke of Wellington; scribble tipsy jokes in London pubs with lazy but delightful Peter Ferriday; be touched by the surprising love life of Sir John Summerson, loftiest of architectural historians; grieve at the decline of Mariga Guinness, gifted, drunken and lovable queen of the Irish Georgians; and hear how a Chelsea landlady modelled for the figure of Peace, riding her skyline chariot on the arch at London’s Hyde Park Corner.

The letters are reproduced in whole or part in fac­simile, and the varying handwritings reveal the characters of the writers and help bring them to  life in a way impossible for the all-conquering email.

Book Information

Cover Design:
jane havell
Release Dates:
2-November-17 (UK) | (US)
Pages:
288
ISBN:
9781908524966
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