The Story of Follies: Architectures of Eccentricity (Hardcover)

The Story of Follies: Architectures of Eccentricity By Celia Fisher Cover Image
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A beautifully illustrated history of these quirky ornamental buildings in gardens across the globe.
Are they frivolous or practical? Follies are buildings constructed primarily for decoration, but they suggest another purpose through their appearance. In this visually stunning book, Celia Fisher describes follies in their historical and architectural context, looks at their social and political significance, and highlights their relevance today. She explores follies built in protest, follies in Oriental and Gothic styles, animal-related follies, waterside follies and grottoes, and, finally, follies in glass and steel. Featuring many fine illustrations, from historical paintings to contemporary photographs and prints, and taking in follies from Great Britain to Ireland, throughout Europe, and beyond, The Story of Follies is an amusing and informative guide to fanciful, charming buildings.

About the Author

Celia Fisher has lectured and written widely on the history of plants and gardens in art. Her books include Flower: Paintings by Forty Great Artists and Tulip, the latter also published by Reaktion Books.

Praise For…

"This is a scholarly, sumptuously illustrated book, with extensive references, a further reading list and an index, which perfectly shows how human folly
of all kinds is etched into our landscape."
— Fortean Times

“Originating from the French word for madness – also translating to extravagance or stupidity – defining follies is, according to art historian Celia Fisher, ‘almost as tricky as defining art’. She explores their wonder in this beautifully illustrated and captivating book.”
— Daily Mail (UK)

"Fisher, a historian of gardens and plants, examines follies in a breezy narrative that abounds with intriguing examples . . . [and] excellent (mostly color) illustrations, primarily of exteriors. This is an enjoyable overview of an intriguing architectural and cultural phenomenon.”
— Choice

"A guide to these fanciful buildings in Britain, Ireland and beyond, placing them in their historical, social and architectural context, and examining their relevance for today."
— Gardens Illustrated

"This book is delicious. I love Fisher’s account of Beachborough Manor, which we know from a painting by Edward Haytley."
— The Oldie

“The book all folly lovers have been waiting for. . . it takes the appreciation of and learning about this branch of architecture and landscape design up to a new level. . . . Very literate with numerous allusions to classical antiquity and citations from living authors, and very well researched with a substantial range of sources.”
— Follies

"Fisher draws on numerous sources to show her erudition in a feature of architecture, gardens, and landscape design, which she reveals in a series of fascinating stories linked to the world’s artistic and cultural development."
— Jonathan Holt, editor of "Follies" magazine and author of several books on the follies of the West Country

Product Details
ISBN: 9781789146356
ISBN-10: 1789146356
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Publication Date: January 27th, 2023
Pages: 398