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At Notre Dame de Lorette

Gavin Stamp: The International Memorial

20 November 2014
... The French​ national necropolis of Notre Dame de Lorette lies on a plateau to the north of Arras where a pilgrims’ chapel once stood. The bodies of some forty thousand French soldiers who died in the Great War were buried here in the 1920s: half of them, unidentified, in mass graves; the other half beneath long lines of concrete crosses, each with a small metal label to give a name. This is the ...


Gillian Darley: Lutyens

17 April 2003
The Architect and His Wife: A Life of Edwin Lutyens 
by Jane Ridley.
Chatto, 524 pp., £25, June 2002, 0 7011 7201 0
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Edwin Lutyens, Country Houses: From the Archives of ‘Country Life’ 
by Gavin Stamp.
Aurum, 192 pp., £35, May 2001, 1 85410 763 1
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Lutyens Abroad 
edited by Andrew Hopkins and Gavin Stamp.
British School at Rome, 260 pp., £34.95, March 2002, 0 904152 37 5
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... and forms, exemplified at Goddards or Tigbourne Court, entirely overshadowed his extraordinary efforts to master the difficulties of a steep roadside site, at the Red House in Godalming (for GavinStamp, ‘an unsung masterpiece’), with its sheer elevations of brick, in which the Tudor almost met the Machine Age. As Lutyens’s style moved from Arts and Crafts through Palladian classicism towards ...
7 February 1980
The Victorian Country House 
by Mark Girouard.
Yale, 470 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 300 02390 1
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The Artist and the Country House 
by John Harris.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 376 pp., £37.50, November 1980, 0 85667 053 7
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National Trust Studies 1980 
edited by Gervase Jackson-Stops.
Sotheby Parke Bernet, 175 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 85667 065 0
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... Who can resist the appeal of the English country house? Publishers are well aware of their popularity – which is doubtless explained by snobbery and the antique trade as much as anything – so we have a constant stream of books on the subject as well as the phenomenon of those cognoscenti aptly characterised recently in the pages of Harpers and Queen as the ‘National Trust Navy’. When we write ...

Not Mackintosh

Chris Miele

6 April 1995
‘Greek’ Thomson 
edited by Gavin Stamp and Sam McKinstry.
Edinburgh, 249 pp., £35, September 1994, 0 7486 0480 4
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... such as John Burnet Sr, or the Gothically inclined J.J. Stevenson, is the degree to which he was ready to pare down forms to their simplest state. His work is blunt to the point of primitivism, and GavinStamp astutely draws out the underlying similarities between Thomson and the most advanced High Victorian Goths working in England at the same time, in particular Burges, Butterfield and Street. Of ...

Toshie Trashed

Gavin Stamp: The Glasgow School of Art Fire

18 June 2014
... The Scott Street exterior of the west wing of Glasgow School of Art in 1933. I had​ the daily pleasure of seeing the west wing of the Glasgow School of Art, with its castle-like stonework and triple tall oriels rising dramatically from the steep slope of Scott Street, when, for more than a decade, I taught architectural history at the Mackintosh School of Architecture. I also had the privilege ...

The Danger of Giving In

Andrew Saint: George Gilbert Scott Jr

17 October 2002
An Architect of Promise: George Gilbert Scott Jr (1839-97) and the Late Gothic Revival 
by Gavin Stamp.
Shaun Tyas, 427 pp., £49.50, July 2002, 1 900289 51 2
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... by ‘perverting’ to Catholicism, against his own interest as an architect of Anglican churches. In the most hapless of perversions, in 1883 he went spectacularly, notoriously mad. At the root of GavinStamp’s study lies a question which makes it more than just an architectural monograph. How far was Scott’s madness brought on by a cultural crisis which beset the Gothic Revival round about 1880 ...
2 June 1988
Home: A Short History of an Idea 
by Witold Rybczynski.
Heinemann, 256 pp., £12.95, March 1988, 0 434 14292 1
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... of many of Liberty’s most successful fabrics, is pictured among massive furnishings bought during the sad years when so many of London’s traditional Clubs fell under the auctioneer’s hammer. GavinStamp stands in waistcoat and fob-watch in ‘the essential profusion of accumulated clutter’ which he has built up in his ‘Standard Late Georgian Fourth Rate London terraced house’ near King ...

Scaling Up

Peter Wollen: At Tate Modern

20 July 2000
... the museum is the immense scale of the Turbine Hall, its cathedral-like vastness. Clearly, the architects’ decision to retain the vast interior of Gilbert Scott’s ‘temple of power’, as GavinStamp has called it, was absolutely right. From the very start, Herzog and de Meuron proposed that the Turbine Hall should be left more or less intact and the exhibition galleries placed within the ...

Architect as Hero

David Cannadine

21 January 1982
Lutyens: The Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens 
Hayward Gallery, 200 pp., £15, November 1981, 0 7287 0304 1Show More
Edwin Lutyens: Architect Laureate 
by Roderick Gradidge.
Allen and Unwin, 167 pp., £13.95, November 1981, 0 04 720023 5
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Indian Summer: Lutyens, Baker and Imperial Delhi 
by Robert Grant Irving.
Yale, 406 pp., £20, November 1981, 0 300 02422 3
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Lutyens: Country Houses 
by Daniel O’Neill.
Lund Humphries, 167 pp., £8.95, May 1980, 0 85331 428 4
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Lutyens and the Sea Captain 
by Margaret Richardson.
Scolar, 40 pp., £5.95, November 1981, 0 85967 646 3
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Houses and Gardens by E.L. Lutyens 
by Lawrence Weaver.
Antique Collectors’ Club, 344 pp., £19.50, January 1982, 0 902028 98 7
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... unfailing exuberance overwhelm, intimidate and demand admiration. Not surprisingly, the catalogue commentary requires the combined efforts of Colin Amery, Mary Lutyens, Jane Brown, John Cornforth, GavinStamp and John Summerson to do justice to an architect whose career, in its range, dimensions and achievements, outshines Wren, Vanbrugh and the Adam brothers. Cloud-capp’d towers, gorgeous palaces ...


Alan Bennett: What I did in 2019

22 December 2019
... and it’s only when I come to the end of the first chapter on the Thiepval arch that I realise it’s not by Geoff Dyer but (though equally good) The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme by the late GavinStamp. Today, with Brexit once more in the balance, the end of the first chapter seems apposite: ‘How curious, but how significant, that one of the finest works of British architecture of the 20th ...

The Cadaver Club

Iain Sinclair

22 December 1994
Original Sin 
by P.D. James.
Faber, 426 pp., £14.99, October 1994, 0 571 17253 9
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Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem 
by Peter Ackroyd.
Sinclair-Stevenson, 282 pp., £14.99, September 1994, 1 85619 507 4
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The Hidden Files: An Autobiography 
by Derek Raymond.
Warner, 342 pp., £5.99, December 1994, 0 7515 1184 6
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Not till the Red Fog Rises 
by Derek Raymond.
Little, Brown, 248 pp., £15.99, December 1994, 0 316 91014 7
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... crimes exhibited in authentic locations. This is an empty set, a set defined by its architecture (where even Mandy the Temp, in her anachronistically fab gear, seems to be trying to catch the eye of GavinStamp). An increasingly silly catalogue of deaths and suicides announces the final surrender of the Golden Age Murder Mystery: Agatha Christie force-fed on Pevsner and the humbug of Kenneth Baker’s ...


Gavin​ Francis: Among the Neurons

24 January 2013
... contain millions of nerve cells and their connections. ‘She carried on talking so that bit’s not eloquent,’ he said. ‘In other words we can cut it.’ He placed a numbered label, like a tiny stamp, over the place he had just touched with the stimulator. The number was carefully catalogued by one of the nurses, while he moved on to the next patch. The professor called this process ‘mapping ...

Family History

Miles Taylor: Tony Benn

25 September 2003
Free at Last: Diaries 1991-2001 
by Tony Benn.
Hutchinson, 738 pp., £25, October 2002, 0 09 179352 1
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Free Radical: New Century Essays 
by Tony Benn.
Continuum, 246 pp., £9.95, May 2003, 9780826465962
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... New Labour over old. The fate of the Bennite Left under New Labour underlines the point: stalwarts from the early 1980s – Tony Banks, Margaret Beckett, Jeremy Corbyn, Michael Meacher, Clare Short, Gavin Strang – have been given only walk-on roles in the Cabinet, while younger recruits to Benn’s Campaign Group, such as Paul Boateng and Dawn Primarolo, have not been allowed to speak in their own ...
23 March 1995
Cyril Connolly: A Nostalgic Life 
by Clive Fisher.
Macmillan, 304 pp., £20, March 1995, 0 333 57813 9
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... But the nostalgic impulse was the same. Philip Larkin once told Connolly at a party, in a burst of shy alcoholic confidence, that The Unquiet Grave had ‘made’ him. It certainly inspired him. Gavin Ewart described it as ‘the Great Missing War Poem of World War Two’. Perhaps Logan Pearsall Smith had come close to writing the War Poem of World War One? The indirections and resonances of art ...

When Bitcoin Grows Up

John Lanchester: What is Money?

20 April 2016
... mining is what it’s called.) Miners take this ten-minute block of transactions, each of which combines the two addresses of the parties to the transaction, the quantity of bitcoin moved and a time stamp, and run them through a ‘hash function’. These are cryptographical algorithms for encoding information: the one bitcoin uses is called SHA-256. The hash function takes a stream of information of ...

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