Friday, 19 January 2007

Dublin 1660 - 1860 - The Shaping of a City

I received an email from someone who said they had heard you could buy a new version of Maurice Craig's 'Dublin 1660 - 1860 - The Shaping of a City'. The answer is yes, it has been re-published and is generally available. Dublin 1660 - 1860 by Maurice Craig is the second title in the Liberties Revival series. It charts the evolution of Dublin into the city we know. The book which is highly illustrated with several plate sections, also features a foreword by Mark Girouard.

Here's a review from Liberties Press, Ltd.

The city of Georgian facades and broad-avenued streets that we know as Dublin today was not always so. In Dublin 1660.1860,Maurice Craig explores the city.s golden era of architecture and its growth from a relatively unimportant settlement of nine thousand souls to, as Craig puts it himself, .the Augustan capital of a Gaelic nation.. He offers lively descriptions of many well-known Dublin locales and investigates the lobbying and political efforts involved in this growth process and examines in detail this aspect of the life of the city. As commentator and writer Mark Girouard observes in his foreword to the book, .much work has been done since by other historians, and by Maurice Craig himself, on individual aspects of Dublin.s buildings and architects, but as a masterly and enthralling general picture, nothing has replaced it.. Overall, the book is a colourful and witty survey that is certain to fund new readers as well as appealing to those who have been calling for some time for the book to be reissued.

For those of you who know nothing of Crai, here's a quick review:

Maurice Craig was born in Belfast in 1919 and educated at Castle Park, Dalkey and Shrewsbury School before going on to Magdalene College, Cambridge and Trinity College, Dublin. He has written on subjects as diverse as Irish bookbindings, biography, poetry and topography but is best-known for his books on architectural subjects. His seminal Dublin 1660.1860 appeared in 1952 and was followed by further ground-breaking works, including Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size (which was also recently reissued) and The Architecture of Ireland from the Earliest Times to 1880. Maurice's interest in and understanding of architecture comes through clearly in his photography. Since first taking up the camera and pen in the 1940s, Maurice has recorded buildings of all types and periods, exploiting to the full his uncanny ability to highlight the key features of a building or neighborhood.

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