The philosophy of brick

Summer 1990

A critique of the neo-Victorian ‘philosophy of brick’, and an intervention in the debate over architecture and tradition that pitches Prince Charles and the neo-classicists against the inheritors of the evangelical modern movement. Samuel sees the revival of ‘humble’ Victorian building material - despised in the concrete-clad ‘forward-looking’ 1950s - as part of a regressive fantasy centred on the idealised security of ‘traditional’ domestic space, Victorian values and the family, at a time of the rise of the ‘property owning democracy’.

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