Hawksmoor's London Churches: Architecture and Theology

Six remarkable churches built by Nicholas Hawksmoor from 1712 to 1731 still tower over London. Their striking limestone steeples and luminous interiors were designed by him for a parliamentary commission intent on affirming the majesty of the Anglican Church. In Hawksmoor's London Churches , architectural historian Pierre de la Ruffiniere du Prey argues that though each church is unique, they can be viewed as an integrated whole - a single masterpiece that reflects the architect's design principles and his client's wish to return to the purity of early Christian times. Du Prey constructs his book in three stages like an intricate Hawksmoor steeple. He begins with Hawksmoor's education under Christopher Wren, from whom Hawksmoor learned to appreciate Classical and Judeo-Christian antiquities. He then reveals how the writings on early church liturgy that inspired the commission meshed with Wren's and Hawksmoor's theories of architectural evolution. He concludes by analyzing the churches themselves, focusing closely on the architect's preparatory drawings for the towers. Individually they reveal his ability to translate theological ideas into distinctive landmarks of stone. Cumulatively they explain how his vision of the history of architecture from antiquity to primitive Christianity to the Middle Ages inspired an imaginative personal style. Hawksmoor's churches have become increasingly beloved by architects, critics, historians and tourists. This book should appeal to anyone interested in Hawksmoor, architectural history, religion or London's many-spired skyline.