Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812â€“1852) was one of Britainâ€™s greatest architects, and his short career one of the most dramatic in architectural history. Born in 1812, the son of a French draftsman, at 15 Pugin was working for King George IV at Windsor Castle. By the time he was 21 he had been shipwrecked, bankrupted, and widowed. Nineteen years later he died, insane and disillusioned, having changed the face and the mind of British architecture in works as revered as the House of Lords and the clock tower at Westminster, known as Big Ben.
Godâ€™s Architect is the first modern biography of this extraordinary figure. Rosemary Hill draws upon thousands of unpublished letters and drawings to re-create Puginâ€™s life and work as architect, propagandist, and Gothic designer, as well as the turbulent story of his three marriages, the bitterness of his last years, and his sudden death at 40. It is the work of an exceptional historian and biographer.
Penguin Books, 2007. Hardcover, 602 pp.