Development or destruction? E. A. Freeman and the debate on church restoration, 1839-1851
Oxoniensia, 77, .
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In the 1840s Edward Augustus Freeman was a pillar of the Oxford Architectural Society (which became the Oxford Architectural and Historical Society in 1860), then known as the Oxford Society for Promoting the Study of Gothic Architecture. A young fellow of Trinity College, Freeman was vacillating between pursuing a career as an architect and becoming a medieval historian, the field in which he would establish his reputation. A study of Freeman’s correspondence, society transactions and Freeman’s architectural publications from the 1840s reveals a sophisticated, ‘eclectic’ concept of architectural style. Though his interest in architecture has been generally overlooked, his ideas led the Cambridge Camden Society and others to change the way they restored historic churches as well as their vision of architectural history.
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