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Is architecture in a state of crisis? Or are the critics simply in a state of confusion? Either way, the problems of architecture today are rooted in the history of architectural ideas. Those ideas—from the Picturesque to the Modern Movement; from the Neo-Classicism and the Gothic Revival to New Brutalism and Post-Modernism—form the basis of this original and highly readable book. Ranging widely over English architecture during the last two hundred years—Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Modern—The Dilemma of Style explores the way in which generations of architects and theorists have searched for a key to the conundrum of style. Richly illustrated and densely argued, with scores of quotations and hundreds of references, this is not another history of English architecture: it is almost an encyclopaedia of architectural ideas.

This challenging book confronts one of the central problems of architectural theory: the nature—and necessity—of style.