Place-making for the imagination: Horace Walpole and Strawberry Hill

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Strawberry Hill, the Gothic villa and associated landscape, seat of Horace Walpole (1717-97), is mandatory in any assessment of eighteenth-century British architecture, yet the reasons for its creation have never been adequately explained or fully understood. Here it is demonstrated, for the first time, that Walpole’s ideas which informed Strawberry Hill are inspired by theories that stimulate ‘The Pleasures of the Imagination’ as articulated in essays by Joseph Addison (1672-1719) published in the Spectator (1712). Walpole’s reasons for choosing Gothic have been largely misunderstood, valuing as he did this ‘true’ style of British architecture for its associative and imaginative connotations and as a means of expressing historical interpretation through material objects. This book affirms that Strawberry Hill expressed the idea that it was based on imagined monastic foundations using architectural quotations from Gothic tombs, representing visual links to historical figures and events. Moreover, an argument develops as to how Walpole’s theories expressed in Anecdotes of Painting (1762-71) and The History of the Modern Taste in Gardening (1780) became manifest at Strawberry Hill.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFarnham, U. K.
PublisherAshgate Publishing
Number of pages308
ISBN (Print)9781409470045
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


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