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Making HistoryEdward Augustus Freeman and Victorian Cultural Politics$
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G.A. Bremner and Jonathan Conlin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265871

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265871.001.0001

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E. A. Freeman and G. G. Scott: An Episode in the Influence of Ideas

E. A. Freeman and G. G. Scott: An Episode in the Influence of Ideas

(p.177) 10 E. A. Freeman and G. G. Scott: An Episode in the Influence of Ideas
Making History

G. A. Bremner

British Academy

This essay examines the long known but little studied relationship between E. A. Freeman and George Gilbert Scott (1811–78), one of the foremost architects of the Victorian age. Given his interests in architecture, it was only natural that Freeman would be drawn within the ambit of the key practitioners of his day. It is argued that the close friendship that developed between Freeman and Scott from the early 1840s influenced appreciably the latter’s historical conception of architecture, thus affecting his architectural output, both theoretical and practical. Their engagement over such topical issues as the ‘national question’ in British architecture, John Ruskin, the cultural origins and significance of Gothic architecture, and the debate over style, particularly with regard to the New Government Offices (1857–68), Whitehall, are all discussed. It is concluded that Freeman’s ideas, despite being overshadowed by those of Ruskin and the Ecclesiologists, had a wider impact in the world of Victorian architecture than previously thought.

Keywords:   Edward Augustus Freeman, George Gilbert Scott, John Ruskin, architecture, race, government offices, Gothic Revival

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