British Towns by Oliver Benn

British Towns by Oliver Benn lands on the shelves of my shop.

London: Bouverie House, 1999, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Illustrated by way of: Colour Photographs;

From the cover: Having explored every aspect of Britains capital in his recent Benns London, photographer Oliver Benn casts his original eye over some of the most attractive and popular towns of England, Scotland and Wales. As with his previous books, people, activities and the contemporary scene are seen alongside the architecture, interiors and brief history. The 260 stunning colour photographs are complemented by lively essays from local authors in each town.

The towns featured in this book are chosen for their pictorial evocation of urban lifestyle throughout the ages, and are grouped under five thematic headings. The Medieval and Renaissance towns of Cambridge, Oxford and Warwick with their striking panoramas and atmospheric interiors are like a time capsule of an earlier age, but very much alive today as seats of learning and cultural attractions. The Georgian and Regency towns of Edinburgh, Bath and Brighton seem to retain the gracious air of eighteenth century life. The Cathedral Cities of Salisbury, Exeter and Lincoln remind us of the importance of our Christian heritage in the development of our urban centres.

As Peter Richards points out in his Introduction: In essence, all towns are clusters of streets and houses that depend for their survival on commerce. Ludlow, Richmond in Yorkshire and Saffron Walden are fine examples of traditional but flourishing Market Towns. Finally, the identity of our island has always been bound up with the sea, with its lure to adventure and economic significance. This aspect is revealed by the historic but still active Ports of Cardiff, Conwy and Dartmouth.

Benns photographs explore unfamiliar corners of towns we thought we knew and familiar places from unfamiliar angles: from above, from street-level and from the inside. The British town is shown as: a magnificent diversity of buildings and townscapes.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper.

Blue boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 175 pages. 10″ x 10½”.

Of course, if you don’t like this one there are plenty more available here!


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