Mark Girouard

Listening to Mark Girouard speak this afternoon made me remember how much I and my generation of architectural historians owe him without him necessarily being aware of it.   In 1958, he started writing for Country Life and continued to do so over a long period, pioneering the study, in particular, of Victorian country houses and their planning, which led to the publication of The Victorian Country House by Oxford University Press in 1971.   He then turned to writing a history of the design and planning of country houses over a longer period, which led to his Slade lectures delivered in Spring 1976.   By chance, I heard the first one, delivered, as they then were, in the Oxford Playhouse.   This led to the publication in 1978 of Life in the English Country House, which was hugely and deservedly successful, both as a scholarly book and one which had big sales.   He, more than anyone, except possibly John Summerson, made the writing of architectural history into a humane and wide-ranging intellectual discipline.

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4 thoughts on “Mark Girouard

  1. Martin Hopkinson says:

    also to be thoroughly recommended is his study of the Queen Anne Movement – Sweetness and Light, another great Yale book – which rediscovered the delights of Westgate on Sea

  2. Jeremy Hawker says:

    Blanche Girouard, Mark & Dorothy’s daughter, wrote Portobello Voices, a collection of oral histories with photographs by the author. Mark’s least-known, very small and in some ways most interesting book is Enthusiasms, stories of subjects that have preoccupied him over the years.

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