3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Thomas Mawson: Life, Gardens and Landscape,
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This review is from: Thomas Mawson: Life, Gardens and Landscapes (Hardcover)
A lush, coffee table book. Really too heavy for easy reading (wait for a paperback?). But clearly laid out - comprehensive and well researched. The photos are superb. Best book on Mawson to date.
Having now read and considered more thoroughly such a tour de force, I am not quite as enthusiastic. The author seems determined to avoid critical comment about Mawson and his work. It would have been interesting if she had compared his rather eclectic designs with the opposition, why his ventures into Canada, Greece and Australia were largely failures. Above all the nature of a man whose achievements were phenominal. How did he organise his life? As he was away from home most of his time, how did he communicate his wishes to his office? We needed more about his relationships with others, his wife, family and friends and particularly with his eldest son Edward Prentice, when schemes in the later years may have been largely his own, although still carrying his father's imprint: ie could the old man delegate?
Mawson was clearly sensitive about his position in the social hierarchy, which is another aspect the author could have expanded. Since he was never an architect, it was intriguing to see that RIBA made him an honorary associate, a qualification he used on at least one of the schemes illustrated. As one who lives a mile from his Lancaster office, it would have been instructive to learn what hapened to his practice and family afetr his death
Hers is still the best book on Mawson so far, but there is room for more.