The book I have chosen is titled Specimens of Gothic architecture, by A. PUGIN, written in the 19th century. As the name foretells, the author makes his foray into showcasing classical gothic architecture by meticulously examining the existing buildings. The potential readers are of a wide range. From novice, who knows nothing about gothic architecture, to professional architect, this book is suitable for getting a comprehensive understanding of its style and characteristics.
The documentation of the buildings comprises all the chapters, in which the author provides not only the building’s known history but also the analysis of its gothic attribute. One of the author’s main goals is to repudiate those who, in his opinion, have tarnished gothic architecture by, in his own words, perverting classical beauty. He finds what is perceived as modern gothic totally repulsive, as it is an adulterated amalgam of various styles, thus making the building lose its gothic originality. By providing his analysis on the existing structure while drawing comparison(which are only criticism of modern gothic architecture), he is able to strengthen his argument.
Furthermore, in each chapter, a thorough illustration of the building consisting of pages of sketches, floor plans, and details of specific parts such as columns, doors, etc…are provided to show what authentic gothic architecture should look like.
The book is really thick and heavy. As it contains a plethora of building specimens, I assume it shouldn’t be so surprising.
Lastly, since the author is an architect from the UK, he has only examined the gothic buildings within his country. One of the main reasons that motivated the author to write this book is the surge of popularity in modern gothic within the university of oxford, which obviously made him hold a deep grudge against the scholars who promoted it. Therefore it is fair to infer that the book serves as a testament through his visual and literal illustration of the superiority of classical gothic architecture.