Hermann Muthesius
Frances Lincoln, London, 2007; abridged edition, 1979, English; originally published 1905 in German
Nonfiction, Architecture; Nonfiction, Interior Design
ISBN: 9780711226883

From the Publisher. Long regarded as one of the most important works ever written in the field of architectural criticism and architectural history Das Englische Haus (The English House) was first published in 1905 and is now for the first time translated into English in its entirety, with all its original contemporary illustrations and plans. Hermann Muthesius was the cultural attaché at the German Embassy in London at a time of profound change in the arts and crafts and particularly in domestic architecture in Britain. An architect himself, and a friend of Mackintosh and Lethaby, Muthesius was fascinated by the English love of home and countryside, their dislike of ostentation and their enthusiasm for cleanliness – all of which showed itself in the architecture of the day, and which he recorded and discussed in astonishing and still unmatched detail. This book presents the social and historical development of the English house from about 1860 to 1900—the age of Norman Shaw, Philip Webb, Voysey, and Lutyens as well as Mackintosh and Morris. The planning, layout, aspect and aesthetics of the house, are all discussed, analysed and illustrated in detail, along with the interiors, the gardens and even the furniture and sanitary fittings. It has been observed that this book which was, and remains, hugely influential “single-handedly changed the course of European architecture.”

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Amanda Dameron

This is a recent acquisition. I’ve long known of Muthesius, founder of the Deutscher Werkbund, and his influence on the modern architecture movement in Germany, but I’d never read any of his own published works until I ordered this one. I was prepared for a scholarly take on the decorative arts, but what I was not prepared for is his arch wit and social commentary. This is an essential read for anyone wishing to get a sense of popular aesthetic impulses at the turn of the last century. It really helped me frame my own understanding of just how shocking the modern movement was to the prevailing winds of the time.

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