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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 the Culture of the Gothic Revival

E. A. Freeman and the Culture of the Gothic Revival

(p.139) 8 E. A. Freeman and the Culture of the Gothic Revival
Making History

Chris Miele

British Academy

This essay looks at E. A. Freeman’s involvement in the Oxford Architectural Society, which provided him with the platform to develop as an architectural historian and writer. The varied interests of the OAS influenced Freeman’s approach to the history of medieval architecture alongside Thomas Arnold’s new philosophy of history. This contribution is set against the backdrop of Oxford in the 1840s and the rapid changes the City and University were experiencing. The OAS also provided Freeman with the opportunity to meet architects and even to act as a client in the restoration of Dorchester Abbey, which the OAS promoted from 1846, eventually using William Butterfield as architect. This experience encouraged Freeman to write about the theory of monument care, which is perhaps his most enduring contribution to the culture of the Gothic Revival.

Keywords:   Gothic Revival, architectural societies, Oxford Architectural Society, OAS, restoration, architectural history, architectural nomenclature, George Gilbert Scott, William Butterfield

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