Philip Webb (1831-1915) : domestic architecture
The influence of the architect Philip Webb (1831-1915) on Arts and Crafts houses, or the so-called English Domestic revival, has been, generally acknowledged for many years, yet this dissertation is the first full-scale scholarly study-of his philosophy, and contains the first comprehensive, presentation of his work in his chosen field of domestic architecture. Webb's life, thought, and work were bound into a complete unity by his devotion to architecture, his love for the English landscape and its old buildings, and his views on art and society. For convenience and clarity, however, the thesis is divided into three main parts, the first of which is concerned with his life, including his involvement with William Morris in, the firm commonly known as Morris and Company, with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, and with socialism. The second part is an investigation of Webb's architectural philosophy and its evolution, based on his own comments in letters and supported by evidence from his buildings, and of the clients who accepted it and of his relationships with them, and, with his assistants and contractors. The third part is devoted to the history, description, and analysis of Webb's houses and major enlargements, illustrated by 230 plates including plans of most of the buildings discussed. The dissertation demonstrates that Webb made an early and important contribution towards" preservation of "the architectural heritage, including' houses of all sizes, in''Britain and elsewhere; that he was one of the most original and influential architectural thinkers of the nineteenth century; and that he evolved a challenging philosophy which escaped from prevailing revivalism to produce, in his own hands and those of his followers, vigorous, inventive, and pleasing houses of national and local character.