The City and the King


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Architecture and Politics in Restoration London

Christine Stevenson

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The City of London is a jurisdiction whose relationship with the English monarchy has sometimes been turbulent. This fascinating book explores how architecture was used to renew and redefine a relationship essential to both parties in the wake of two momentous events: the restoration of the monarchy, in 1660, and the Great Fire six years later.


Spotlighting little-known projects alongside such landmarks as Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, it explores how they were made to bear meaning. It draws on a range of evidence wide enough to match architecture’s resonances for its protagonists: paintings, prints, and poetry, sermons and civic ceremony mediated and politicized buildings and built space, as did direct and sometimes violent action. The City and the King offers a nuanced understanding of architecture’s place in early modern English culture. It casts new light not only on the reign of Charles II, but on the universal mechanisms of construction, decoration, and destruction through which we give our monuments significance.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Christine Stevenson is senior lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

The City and the King provides a fascinating insight into the relationship between the City of London and the monarchy.”—Discover Your History

 “This handsome book takes us inside the minds of those who were responsible for rebuilding London in Charles II’s reign.”—Simon Thurley, Country Life

"A fascinating new book highlights how the relationship between the City of London and the monarchy was reflected in the architecture of the 17th century, which was the result of the Restoration of the monarchy in 1660 and the Great Fire of London six years later."—David Meara, The Times
Shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book Prize 2014.
Shortlisted for the Alice Davis Hitchcock 2014 Award sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

Shortlisted for the 2014 William MB Berger Prize for British Art History

Shortlisted for the 2014 Authors' Club Art Book Prize

Won Honorable mention for the 2016 Spiro Kostof Book Award sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians.
ISBN: 9780300190229
Publication Date: November 12, 2013
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
400 pages, 7 7/8 x 10 1/4
25 color + 120 b/w illus.
Medicine and Magnificence

British Hospital and Asylum Architecture, 1660–1815

Christine Stevenson

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