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Edwin Lutyens: His Life, His Wife, His Work

Author/EditorJane Ridley (Author)
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780712668224
Pub Date20/02/2003
BindingPaperback
Pages496
Dimensions (mm)234(h) * 153(w) * 36(d)
The work of Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) includes the Cenotaph in Whitehall, much of Imperial New Delhi and especially his masterpiece, Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), Queen Mary's dolls' house and Hampstead Garden Suburb.
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The work of Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) includes the Cenotaph in Whitehall, much of Imperial New Delhi and especially his masterpiece, Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), Queen Mary's dolls' house and Hampstead Garden Suburb. But his greatest heritage is the traditional Edwardian country house, an architectural style he made his own, using local materials and often working with Gertrude Jekyll who planted the gardens for his family homes. This is a full biography of a witty, complex personality, a man who had little formal education, who loved jokes and hated growing up. It is also a portrait of an extraordinary marriage. His wife, Emily, fell in love with Krishnamurti, 21 years her junior and believed to be the reincarnation of a god, and she thereafter spent her time and her husband's money promoting Theosophy, a Hindu-inspired cult. Lutyens's failure to find a common language with Emily possibly drove him to achieve the remarkable communication through the language of architecture which characterises his best work.

The work of Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944) includes the Cenotaph in Whitehall, much of Imperial New Delhi and especially his masterpiece, Viceroy's House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), Queen Mary's dolls' house and Hampstead Garden Suburb. But his greatest heritage is the traditional Edwardian country house, an architectural style he made his own, using local materials and often working with Gertrude Jekyll who planted the gardens for his family homes. This is a full biography of a witty, complex personality, a man who had little formal education, who loved jokes and hated growing up. It is also a portrait of an extraordinary marriage. His wife, Emily, fell in love with Krishnamurti, 21 years her junior and believed to be the reincarnation of a god, and she thereafter spent her time and her husband's money promoting Theosophy, a Hindu-inspired cult. Lutyens's failure to find a common language with Emily possibly drove him to achieve the remarkable communication through the language of architecture which characterises his best work.

Jane Ridley is Professor of History at Buckingham University, where she teaches an MA course on biography. Her books include The Young Disraeli, acclaimed by Robert Blake as definitive; a highly praised study of the architect Edwin Lutyens and his relationship with his troubled wife, which won the Duff Cooper Prize; and Victoria, a short life written for the Penguin Monarchs series. Her most recent full biography, Bertie: A Life of Edward VII was a Sunday Times bestseller and one of the most critically acclaimed books of its year. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Ridley writes book reviews for the Spectator and other newspapers, and has also appeared on radio and several television documentaries. She lives in London and Scotland.

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