Houses, Elizabethan

More Glass Than Wall

More Glass Than Wall

Reviewed by Benjamin Schwarz

December 2010 ATLANTIC

Elizabethan Architecture 

Mark Girouard 

This wondrous book—written by the preeminent historian of British architecture, and beautifully designed and printed, crammed with more than 300 meticulously chosen illustrations and color photographs—combines sweeping range and a precise grasp of detail to illuminate houses “in numbers, richness and inventiveness unsurpassed at any other time in the history of English architecture.” Girouard pays due attention to such great public buildings as King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, but his focus is perforce on the glory of Elizabethan architecture, “the intensely artificial, elaborately composed houses of great people”—and his most brilliant achievement in this impossibly rich book is his psychological and emotional sympathy with the (in many ways, alien) people who inhabited the buildings that he analyzes with such exactitude and brio.

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