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Biography of 'Professor James Stevens Curl'

Sunday 12th August 2018

Professor James Stevens Curl is the author of numerous scholarly books and papers, including The Victorian Celebration of Death; Spas, Wells, & Pleasure-Gardens of London; Georgian Architecture in the British Isles 1714-1830; Victorian Architecture: Diversity & Invention; Freemasonry & the Enlightenment: Architecture, Symbols, & Influences; Funerary Monuments and Memorials in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, and many other works. His Oxford Dictionary of Architecture, with contributions on landscape by Dr Susan Wilson, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015 (paperback edition 2016), and in August 2018 the same publisher brought out his excoriating Making Dystopia: The Strange Rise and Survival of Architectural Barbarism, described by various critics as ‘brilliant … a timely marvel’, ‘coruscating, driven, and passionately committed’, ‘a milestone in architectural history’, ‘gripping, … thoroughly researched, and completely novel’, and in The Daily Telegraph as a ‘lightning bolt of a book, … fierce, and well-written to boot’.

He has long established an international reputation for wit combined with compassion, thoroughness of research, sound scholarship, and lucidity of style. Twice Visiting Fellow at Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, he is a Member of the Royal Irish Academy, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and a Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. On the occasion of its annual Prizes and Medals Ceremony in 2017, the British Academy awarded him the President’s Medal for ‘outstanding service to the cause of the humanities’ in his wider study of the History of Architecture, covering a vast range of periods and topics, in Britain and Ireland.

Professor Curl’s website is at: