on 28 February 2008
This is outstanding even by the high standards of the Pevsner series.
The format is now familiar - thumbnail sketches of the architecture of all the interesting buildings in the county, old and new, famous and obscure, public buildings and private houses. Thoughtful, erudite, and readable introductory essays. Comprehensive indexes.
But whereas Pevsner sailed through every English county for his original series, and knew some better than others, this Essex volume has been edited by a person no less observant and scholarly, but whose deep knowledge and love of Essex buildings of every stripe shines through every page. He also puts in more history than most Pevsners.
He has packed in more material than ever before and has an overview which slots everything satisfyingly into place. He is never sentimental, but always kind. The colour plates are good, too.
This really is an inspiration. It will make you see Essex with new eyes.