3 DECEMBER 1937, Page 42


This is the best short history of Scottish architecture yet published (Mac- lehose, ios. 6d.), partly because it does not only deal with buildings. It is full of human interest—not in the sense of retailing the legends and anecdotes which cluster round every ancient building in Scotland, but because Sir John Stirling-Maxwell always relates the building to the social function it served. He deals with all the important pre-Reformation abbeys and churches, and with representative examples of towers, castles, country-houses, public buildings, bridges, farms and cottages, without ever letting his survey become a catalogue. Notable points are his analysis of the Scottish building tradi- tion ; his refutation of the common error that the later castle architecture owed much to France ; and his critique of the work of Sir William Bruce, the Adam family, Burn, Bryce, Lorimer and other Scottish architects, among whom, however, we miss the name of C. R. Mackintosh, although the survey comes up to the present day. The two- hundred illustrations are magnificent— photographs by Robert Adam and others, and reproductions of the pen- and-wash drawings made by Robert Billings for his great work on Scottish Baronial architecture. The author has wisely limited his castles, and made room for several of the less-known country-houses of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.