By Barry Magrill
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Extra resources for A Commerce of Taste: Church Architecture in Canada, 1867-1914
Compared to British books, the US pattern book format allowed for more self-aggrandizement and the general marketing of church-building as an unapologetic commercial endeavour. Ambivalent to relationships between commerce and religion, the Ecclesiological (formerly, Cambridge Camden) Society in Britain generally applauded the cruciform layout and the exterior ornament at Christ Church, as supervised in construction by Thomas Seaton Scott (1836–1895) after Frank Wills’s premature death. Concerning itself very little with economic matters, the society was a learned organization formed by industrious undergraduates at Cambridge University in 1839 to promote and study Gothic Revival architecture.
Concerning itself very little with economic matters, the society was a learned organization formed by industrious undergraduates at Cambridge University in 1839 to promote and study Gothic Revival architecture. Through the quarterly publication of their Ecclesiologist (1841– 68) journal, as well as a series of inexpensive pamphlets entitled A Few Words to Churchbuilders…, the editors advised their membership of seven hundred architects, clergymen, and enthusiasts on matters of architectural taste.
Depicting a series of architectural details, including foliated capitals, tile patterns, and carved ornament, the book marketed history as a dynamic field of representations of knowledge. Publishers keen to present the full spectrum of progressive-to-conservative church designs as a form of cultivated education created books that appeared to be expensive, bound editions of hand-pulled etchings. In fact the contrary was true; the church pattern books produced after 1840 tended to use cheaper lithographic technology even though the imagery of churches in the books still contained the fine hatch lines associated with hand-pulled etchings.