100 books like The Nature Of Gothic

By John Ruskin,

Here are 100 books that The Nature Of Gothic fans have personally recommended if you like The Nature Of Gothic. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture

Richard Weston Author Of 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture

From my list on that formed my understanding of architecture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by architecture and landscape architecture since discovering the work of Le Corbusier at the age of sixteen. Most of my life has been spent teaching and writing about it - fifteen books and numerous articles - with occasional forays into designing and building. I took early retirement as a Professor of  Architecture in 2013, the year after enjoying ‘Fifteen Minutes of Fame’ on a BBC TV series featuring the development of my ‘mineral scarves’ for Liberty of London. This led to a creative app and website for children called Molly’s World (to be launched in 2024) and on my seventieth birthday in 2023 I launched an architectural and garden design studio.

Richard's book list on that formed my understanding of architecture

Richard Weston Why did Richard love this book?

I was introduced to this at the end of my first year as an architecture student and it introduced me to looking at history through a designer’s eyes.

The original and best edition was in a small format, packed with postage-stamp-sized illustrations. Venturi’s target was the reductive, less-is-more strand of Modern architecture. ‘Less is a bore’, Venturi declared, and he opened my eyes to Mannerism and the Baroque and offered new insights into modern masters such as Aalto and Le Corbusier. 

Book cover of My Work

Richard Weston Author Of 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture

From my list on that formed my understanding of architecture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by architecture and landscape architecture since discovering the work of Le Corbusier at the age of sixteen. Most of my life has been spent teaching and writing about it - fifteen books and numerous articles - with occasional forays into designing and building. I took early retirement as a Professor of  Architecture in 2013, the year after enjoying ‘Fifteen Minutes of Fame’ on a BBC TV series featuring the development of my ‘mineral scarves’ for Liberty of London. This led to a creative app and website for children called Molly’s World (to be launched in 2024) and on my seventieth birthday in 2023 I launched an architectural and garden design studio.

Richard's book list on that formed my understanding of architecture

Richard Weston Why did Richard love this book?

I bought My Work when I was sixteen and it was the catalyst for a lifetime devoted to architecture.

Written shortly before he died, it is a passionate, personal account of Le Corbusier’s work. Profusely illustrated and beautifully designed, it covers his work as draughtsman and painter, sculptor and writer - and, of course, as - in my view - the greatest architect ever to pick up a tee-square.

At the opening of his exquisite pilgrimage chapel at Ronchamp, Le Corbusier was asked if he had to believe in God to create such a building. ‘No,’ he replied, ‘I had to believe in architecture.’ This is a book by a believer to convert newcomers to the greatest of the arts.

By Le Corbusier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Work as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the He does not have the open expression and the easy smile of those who readily inspire sympathy; animation and grace are lacking; the eyes are dull, the voice is flat and uneven. But candour and strength reinforce an impressive demeanour seemingly built for defence, behind which he appears to withdraw, to watch and to observe. It is very hard not to feel respect and curiosity! He has known (and still knows) incomprehension, hostility, betrayal and, worse still, gross injustice. For more than forty years he has had to wage war-on his own ground of architecture and planning-against the…


Book cover of The Quattro Cento and Stones of Rimini

Richard Weston Author Of 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture

From my list on that formed my understanding of architecture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by architecture and landscape architecture since discovering the work of Le Corbusier at the age of sixteen. Most of my life has been spent teaching and writing about it - fifteen books and numerous articles - with occasional forays into designing and building. I took early retirement as a Professor of  Architecture in 2013, the year after enjoying ‘Fifteen Minutes of Fame’ on a BBC TV series featuring the development of my ‘mineral scarves’ for Liberty of London. This led to a creative app and website for children called Molly’s World (to be launched in 2024) and on my seventieth birthday in 2023 I launched an architectural and garden design studio.

Richard's book list on that formed my understanding of architecture

Richard Weston Why did Richard love this book?

This book opened my eyes to a neglected strand of Early Renaissance architecture.

Stokes was a supreme stylist and his elegant, idiosyncratic prose is a delight to read. His insights into what he called the ‘carving tradition’ of art and architecture are posited as a counterpoint to the mainstream ‘modelling’ tradition.

For Stokes, the architecture and art he loved grew out of reverence for the inner life of stone, of marble above all. He described the results as ‘stone blossom’ and buildings as being ‘in bloom’. If this sounds obscure, please don’t be put off: The Quattro Cento is a revelation.

By Adrian Stokes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Quattro Cento and Stones of Rimini as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Adrian Stokes (1902-1972) was a British painter and author whose writings on art have been allowed to go out of print despite their impact on modernism and ongoing acclaim. Tow of his most influential books, "The Quattro Cento" (1932) and "Stones of Rimini" (1934), are bought together in this volume, which includes all their original illustrations. The forward and introduction place Stokes's works in the context of early 20th-century culture and discuss their structure and relevance to today's experience of art and architecture. The books reproduced here mark a crossroads in the transition from late Victorian to modernist conceptions of…


Book cover of Letters on Cezanne

Richard Weston Author Of 100 Ideas that Changed Architecture

From my list on that formed my understanding of architecture.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by architecture and landscape architecture since discovering the work of Le Corbusier at the age of sixteen. Most of my life has been spent teaching and writing about it - fifteen books and numerous articles - with occasional forays into designing and building. I took early retirement as a Professor of  Architecture in 2013, the year after enjoying ‘Fifteen Minutes of Fame’ on a BBC TV series featuring the development of my ‘mineral scarves’ for Liberty of London. This led to a creative app and website for children called Molly’s World (to be launched in 2024) and on my seventieth birthday in 2023 I launched an architectural and garden design studio.

Richard's book list on that formed my understanding of architecture

Richard Weston Why did Richard love this book?

This short book is not about architecture, but about the supremely ‘architectural’ painter, Paul Cézanne, who almost literally ‘built’ his paintings brushstroke by brushstroke.

The author, Rilke, was a great poet and the book consists of a series of letters he wrote home to his wife after almost daily visits to the great memorial exhibition of Cézanne’s work held in Paris 1907, the year after his death. At first he struggled to understand Cézanne’s work, but by the end he offers one of the most profound meditations on aesthetic values I know.

His discovery of Cézanne was, Rilke declared, the most important influence on his poetry and changed his life. These letters changed mine, and I cannot recommend them too highly. 

By Rainer Maria Rilke, Joel Agee (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Letters on Cezanne as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rilke's prayerful responses to the french master's beseeching art

For a long time nothing, and then suddenly one has the right eyes.

Virtually every day in the fall of 1907, Rainer Maria Rilke returned to a Paris gallery to view a Cezanne exhibition. Nearly as frequently, he wrote dense and joyful letters to his wife, Clara Westhoff, expressing his dismay before the paintings and his ensuing revelations about art and life.

Rilke was knowledgeable about art and had even published monographs, including a famous study of Rodin that inspired his New Poems. But Cezanne's impact on him could not be…


Book cover of William Morris

Jan Marsh Author Of The Collected Letters of Jane Morris

From my list on William Morris and his family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a lifelong admiration for William Morris’s eloquent writings on political optimism. And how these fit with the personal life of his wife Janey and daughter May. This began with my biography of the two women, published by the feminist Pandora Press and continuing through to editing Jane Morris’s Collected Letters. Admiration is also critical engagement rather than simple fandom. We need to think, act, and endeavor to promote how we might live better lives in the world. I love the task of relating individual lives in the context of their time. Biography involves historical imagination to fill the gaps in recorded information and conceive how those in the past thought, felt and behaved.   

Jan's book list on William Morris and his family

Jan Marsh Why did Jan love this book?

Having worked with Anna Mason on the May Morris exhibition and catalogue and admiring her talents, I am delighted to see them devoted to this comprehensive updating of William Morris's creativity in so many spheres.  A real tour de force.  And a volume that both forms the bedrock of Morris's studies and beckons forward toward new explorations.

By Anna Mason,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked William Morris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

William Morris's interests were wide-ranging: he was a poet, writer, political and social activist, conservationist and businessman, as well as a brilliant and original designer and manufacturer. This book explores the balance between Morris's various spheres of activity and influence, places his art in the context of its time and explores his ongoing and far-reaching legacy.

A pioneer of the Arts & Crafts Movement, William Morris (1834-1896) is one of the most influential designers of all time. Morris turned the tide of Victorian England against an increasingly industrialized manufacturing process towards a rediscovered respect for the skill of the maker.…


Book cover of May Morris: Art & Life New Perspectives

Jan Marsh Author Of The Collected Letters of Jane Morris

From my list on William Morris and his family.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve had a lifelong admiration for William Morris’s eloquent writings on political optimism. And how these fit with the personal life of his wife Janey and daughter May. This began with my biography of the two women, published by the feminist Pandora Press and continuing through to editing Jane Morris’s Collected Letters. Admiration is also critical engagement rather than simple fandom. We need to think, act, and endeavor to promote how we might live better lives in the world. I love the task of relating individual lives in the context of their time. Biography involves historical imagination to fill the gaps in recorded information and conceive how those in the past thought, felt and behaved.   

Jan's book list on William Morris and his family

Jan Marsh Why did Jan love this book?

May Morris, daughter of the more famous William, was a renowned designer and craftswoman. She shared her father’s political ideals and took them forward through the textile arts of the Arts & Crafts Movement. 

Edited by embroidery artist and historian Lynne Hulse, this book brings together a wide range of new essays on facets of May Morris’s life and career. It complements the lavishly illustrated exhibition catalogue May Morris: Arts & Crafts Designer. Together these two titles provide all currently available details of May’s work, all too often overshadowed by that of her father.

By Lynn Hulse,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked May Morris as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement

Kirsty Stonell Walker Author Of Pre-Raphaelite Girl Gang: Fifty Makers, Shakers and Heartbreakers from the Victorian Era

From my list on aspiring Pre-Raphaelite women.

Why am I passionate about this?

I absolutely love the Pre-Raphaelites, they are my utter passion and these books are the fuel for that fire. Who wouldn't want to be a Pre-Raphaelite woman? Smart, talented, resourceful, these women define what it is to make a mark and great some of the most ground-breaking art in history. I'm particularly obsessed with Pre-Raphaelite women, the artists and muses who created the art we love so much today. After spending almost 30 years researching their lives and loves, it's now my absolute pleasure in telling everyone about these astonishing women, and why we should love them and learn from them.

Kirsty's book list on aspiring Pre-Raphaelite women

Kirsty Stonell Walker Why did Kirsty love this book?

Of course, women of the Pre-Raphaelite movement were not only on the canvas, they also were the artists responsible for a vast array of art in different mediums, from painting and sculpture to enameling and embroidery. The later years of the Victorian period saw women flocking to art schools and claiming the profession from their male counterparts and freeing them to create art that equally defines the Pre-Raphaelite and subsequent movements.

By Martin Ellis, Timothy Barringer, Victoria Osborne

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Victorian Radicals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although the word "Victorian" connotes a kind of dry propriety, the artists working in the Victorian era were anything but. Starting with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and lasting through the dawn of the 20th century, the era's painters, writers, and designers challenged every prevailing belief about art and its purpose. The full spectrum of the Victorian avant- garde is in magnificent display in this book that features nearly 150 works drawn from the Birmingham Museum's unparalleled collection. Characterized by attention to detail, vibrant colors, and engagement with literary themes and daily life, the paintings, works on paper, and decorative objects featured…


Book cover of Rape of the Rose

Mark Nykanen Author Of Burn Down the Sky

From my list on if you love thrillers and want to dig deeper.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read a lot of literary fiction. At the moment, I’m finishing To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara, which I’ve enjoyed and whose novel, A Little Life, was brilliant. My interest in thriller fiction is sparked by writers who bring their considerable literary talents to their trade. John LeCarré comes to mind. Writers who sacrifice depth of character or concern for place quickly lose my interest. Thankfully, there are many thriller writers who do a superb job of keeping my wandering nature in check. (A quick note: I also write dystopian fiction under my pen name James Jaros.)

Mark's book list on if you love thrillers and want to dig deeper

Mark Nykanen Why did Mark love this book?

The Rape of the Rose is an unforgettable novel that details the horrors of the Industrial Revolution in nineteenth-century Britain. Hughes, also a poet of note, portrays the enslavement of children in those “dark Satanic mills” with disturbing precision, offering his youngest characters shreds of dignity, which life has deprived them of so roundly. He also shows men and women maimed and worked to death by owners intent on extracting every last ounce of their labor. A major figure in the novel is a father who flees a mill and joins the Luddite Revolution. I read this book thirty-five years ago and remember it vividly. It presents the underbelly of the Industrial Revolution—and the ample reasons for the rebellions it triggered. 

By Glyn Hughes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rape of the Rose as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Set in 1812, this novel concerns Mor Greave, a self-educated man, who is caught up in an English revolution in the North. He is hunted by the authorities and becomes drawn into a underworld of duplicity, passion and sexual licence he never imagined.


Book cover of Cold Magic

Anise Eden Author Of Dead Sound

From my list on romances off the beaten path.

Why am I passionate about this?

Maybe it's because I'm an Aquarius, or maybe it's because I ate crayons as a kid. But people who know me well can confirm that I'm an oddball who has never fit neatly into boxes or been easy to categorize. Perhaps that’s why I've always enjoyed reading books that defy rules, break barriers, and cross genres. As an author, while I love grounding my books in reality for maximum authenticity, my stories definitely color outside the lines (see earlier crayon reference). I love reading and writing about the unconventional and the unexpected. If you're looking for romances that will take you off the beaten path, this list is for you.

Anise's book list on romances off the beaten path

Anise Eden Why did Anise love this book?

Nowhere have I seen Cold Magic categorized as a romance, but as a reader, my experience of the book (and the rest of the trilogy) was definitely centered around the epic love story. But that's what places this book in the "off the beaten path" category for me – it could sit on several different sections in a bookstore or library: science fiction, fantasy, Steampunk, mystery, action/adventure, romance, or all of the above! Books like this are a gourmet feast for the imagination, particularly when they're handled by a masterful writer and builder of worlds like Kate Elliott. If you love discovering new series that will delight and surprise you while entertaining all the different parts of your brain, you will love The Spiritwalker Trilogy.

By Kate Elliott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Cold Magic as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of the genre's finest writers comes a bold new epic fantasy in which science and magic are locked in a deadly struggle.

It is the dawn of a new age. . . The Industrial Revolution has begun, factories are springing up across the country, and new technologies are transforming in the cities. But the old ways do not die easy.

Cat and Bee are part of this revolution. Young women at college, learning of the science that will shape their future and ignorant of the magics that rule their families. But all of that will change when the…


Book cover of Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West

Richard G. Lipsey Author Of Economic Transformations: General Purpose Technologies and Long-Term Economic Growth

From my list on how technologies have transformed our societies.

Why am I passionate about this?

In spite of many setbacks, living standards have trended upwards over the last 10,000 years. One of my main interests as an economist has been to understand the sources of this trend and its broad effects. The key driving force is new technologies. We are better off than our Victorian ancestors, not because we have more of what they had but because we have new things, such as airplanes and indoor plumbing. However, these new technologies have also brought some unfortunate side effects. We need to understand that dealing with these successfully depends, not on returning to the use of previous technologies, but on developing newer technologies such as wind and solar power.

Richard's book list on how technologies have transformed our societies

Richard G. Lipsey Why did Richard love this book?

Using the modern view of science, many economic historians have sought to diminish the effects of science on the technologies in the 18th and 19th centuries. This wonderful book by a sociologist documents how science, as it was then practiced, pervaded the whole structure of British society, from preachers teaching that Newton had revealed the architecture that God had imposed during creation, to a journal teaching Newtonian science to women. As Jacob puts it: “The role of science…was not that of general laws leading to the development of specific applications. Instead it…[provided] the theoretical mechanics and the practical mathematics that facilitated technological change. Brought together by a shared technical vocabulary of Newtonian origin, engineers and entrepreneurs…negotiated…the mechanization of workshops or the improvement of canals, mines, and harbours.

By Margaret C. Jacob,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book seeks to explain the historical process by which in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries scientific knowledge became an integral part of the culture of Europe and how this in turn led to the Industrial Revolution. Comparative in structure, Jacob explains why England was so much more successful at this transition than its continental counterparts.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Industrial Revolution, Venice, and architecture?

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