Mark Girouard (1)

For some reason, I was able to read the accompanying obituary of Mark Girouard without the paywall and was pleasantly surprised to find a) a good photograph of Girouard, taken at the time of the Elder Street sit-in when the activities of the newly established Spitalfields Trust made the front page of the Times b) a quote from me which I had totally forgotten, except that I have been a long-time admirer of his writings after attending by accident the first of his Slade lectures at Oxford in January 1976 on ‘The Powerhouses: Changing Forms and Functions in English Country Houses, 1400-1930’, subsequently published in the TLS (27 February 1976) and which became the first chapter of Life in the English Country House, which established the social history of architecture as a legitimate subject of study.

I wish I had known him better: he always struck me as quite shy – thoughtful and not at all pushy, which is presumably why Columbia didn’t hire him to replace Wittkower; half a scholar, half a man-of-letters and all the better for the quality of his writing, including two recent more personal books, which the obituary leaves out.


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