The Edwardian Baroque was the closest British architecture ever came to achieving an "imperial" style. With the aim of articulating British global power and prestige, it adorned civic and commercial structures both in Britain and in the wider British world, especially in the "white settler" Dominions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and South Africa.
Evoking the contemporary and emotive idea of "Greater Britain," this new book by distinguished historian G. A. Bremner represents a major, groundbreaking study of this intriguing architectural movement in Britain and its empire. It explores the Edwardian Baroque’s significance as a response to the growing tide of anxiety over Britain’s place in the world, its widely perceived geopolitical decline, and its need to bolster confidence in the face of the Great Power rivalries of the period. Cross-disciplinary in nature, it combines architectural, political, and imperial history and theory, providing a more nuanced and intellectually wide-ranging understanding of the Edwardian Baroque movement from a material culture perspective, including its foundation in notions of race and gender.
Distributed for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
"Bremner’s wonderfully assured and richly illustrated Building Greater Britain is … a timely book. [He] proposes buildings as an overlooked source for the study of Edwardian angst, one which he suggests might lead us to ‘ponder afresh the dilemmas of our own age." —Michael Ledger-Lomas, Jocobin
"Where the Empire goes, the historians will follow. G.A. Bremner’s recent book, Building Greater Britain, traces the development of a genre of architecture intended to give a common face to government institutions in the dominions and other settlements, where a visual display of British values was seen to be important."—Timothy Brittain-Catlin, Apollo Magazine
"This significant gap in British architectural history has now been redressed … . Bremner’s achievement is to have recovered, in its complex diversity, a major architectural movement that was global in scope. The breadth of research required to bring this off, ranging across four continents, is an achievement in itself." —Ian Lochhead, The Burlington Magazine
"As G. A. Bremner sets out in his luxuriously weighty new book, BuildingGreater Britain, the English Baroque … was for decades close to the official architectural style of the British Empire. There is growing interest … in the architecture of high imperialism. Much has changed … in how we view architectural history and the imperial, and Bremner’s focus on the toxic masculinity swirling around the Empire and its symbolism is well justified. … Building Greater Britain is … rich in detail, and absorbing." —Robert Bevan, Times Literary Supplement
"This impressive book makes an excellent case for considering Edwardian Baroque part of the imperial project of building a Greater Britain. Thoroughly researched and splendidly illustrated, it covers an important period of history, with sensitive insights concerning the many uncertainties of the time, handled with intelligence and depth." —James Stevens Curl, The Critic