Our first two books, on Late-Georgian Churches and English Victorian Churches, were published in 2022 and have both been widely and well reviewed. Extracts from reviews are carried on the website of our distribution partners Boydell & Brewer. Scroll to the bottom of this page to learn more about our marketing and distribution arrangement with them, and why they are a such a good fit with our list. Our next book, on the timely and vital topic of public parks, immediately below, offers the opportunity to subscribe in advance and to be acknowledged in the book as a supporter.
People’s Parks : The design and development of public parks in Britain
Authors : Hazel Conway and Paul Rabbitts
Most of our urban parks had their origins in the 19th Century and in 1991 the late Hazel Conway’s People’s Parks; The design and development of public parks in Britain, published by Cambridge University Press, described the development of municipal public access for ‘rational recreation’ alongside burgeoning urban and industrial growth, which was often the model for similar developments overseas. During the Covid pandemic we were reminded forcefully of the importance of publicly accessible space for physical and mental wellbeing, following years of inadequate funding and the hiving off of many of these spaces to private management. Hazel’s original edition of the book is long out of print, and as a recognised classic, used copies command high prices.
With the approval of Hazel’s family, noted parks and landscape historian Paul Rabbitts is updating the book to include developments of the past century including the Garden Cities movement, the Garden Festivals of the 1980s, the London Olympics legacy and the impact of the Heritage Lottery Fund. He addresses questions about how parks will develop in future, and how the recent rediscovered enthusiasm may best be harnessed.
The revised edition will be published in Autumn 2023. Although it will be available through all book trade channels and distributed by Boydell & Brewer in the usual way, those subscribing in advance will be acknowledged if wished, regardless of the sum offered, and for any sum of £50 or more the subscriber will receive a copy of the book signed by the author. Anyone wishing to support this project should visit the GoFundMe page established by Paul Rabbitts, and in due course as publisher we will contact all supporters individually.
The book is currently in the editorial stage and details about format, extent etc will be announced on this page as soon as confirmed.
Late-Georgian Churches: Anglican architecture, patronage and churchgoing 1790-1840
Author: Christopher Webster
This book is the first comprehensive study of late-Georgian church-building. After centuries of post-Reformation inactivity, the Church of England began to address the desperate shortage of accommodation and build on a huge scale. Almost all the leading architects were involved and, amongst approximately 1500 new churches there are some outstanding designs; buildings of the very highest order architecturally.
In this pioneering study, the churches are considered free from the Ecclesiological zeal that condemned them and has, for so long, prevented their serious study. It will celebrate the best of them and provide valuable insights into the design and planning of the whole corpus. There are many revelations. Included is a thorough examination of the stylistic alternatives and contemporary liturgical imperatives, along with their architectural implications. The book explores a lost world of late-Georgian churchgoing: what people expected and experienced in a church service. Also considered are some of the period’s remarkable material and constructional innovations, ones often exploited in church-building, along with the provision of architectural services in the era that preceded full professionalisation
Graham Parry, Professor of English and Related Literature at York University, writes of Webster’s book –
‘In the relatively under-explored territory of late-Georgian churches, Christopher Webster’s book serves as an exceptionally helpful commentary and guide. Full of unfamiliar information, and highly readable, it presents and interprets these buildings in terms of the values and expectations of their own times, allowing them to be appreciated with a new and pleasing clarity.’
Publication – July 2022
320 pages, with over 370 illustrations, mostly in colour.
ISBN 978-1-7398229-0-3 Hard cover £80
ISBN 978-1-7398229-1-0 PDF Ebook £24.99
English Victorian Churches: Architecture, faith, & revival
Author: James Stevens Curl
Churches built in England during the reign of Queen Victoria are not only numerous, but offer a range of architectural styles, fine fittings, and much else to those interested in ecclesiastical architecture. Often exquisitely furnished, they were visible expressions of the presence and importance of religion at the time. Their architectural qualities reflected aspirations of clergy, laity, and individual benefactors. The finest were the results of passionate commitments to scholarly studies known as Ecclesiology.
James Stevens Curl is well qualified to write on the subject, because he helped to pioneer a shift in values that we now take for granted. He harnesses his prodigious knowledge of the period to produce a well-balanced overview of the 19th-century’s highly-charged religious atmosphere, and places English churches of the period in their complex social and denominational settings. He charts the progress and development of the Gothic Revival, explains differences in the churches of various denominations, outlines the influences of the chief protagonists involved, and describes the demands made on craftsmen and industry to produce the materials, furnishings, and fittings necessary in the making of some of the finest buildings ever created in England.
His book reveals something of the individuals and events that shaped the religious climate of the epoch, while the outstanding illustrations, many of which, in colour, were specially commissioned, reveal the rich variety and great beauty found in Victorian churches.
Publication – September 2022
240 pages with 140 illustrations, mostly in colour and commissioned for this book
978-1-7398229-3-4 Hardback £50
978-1-7398229-4-1 PDF Ebook £19.99
How to order
Our books are marketed, represented to the book trade and distributed in association with Boydell & Brewer, renowned publishers of specialist books in print and digital formats, proudly independent and employee-owned, which fits well with our own ethos. The books are available through any physical or online bookseller, library supplier or eBook vendor, or from Boydell & Brewer directly. Click below to access their site and to place orders for our books.