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Biography, History
Publication Date
04 July 2013
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
b/w & colour throughout

The Grand Designer

Third Marquess of Bute
by Rosemary Hannah - Find out more about the author


Also available to download in the iBookstore

'Splendid' – Country Life

'This well-written book makes fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in the history of architecture and for visitors to Bute’s buildings' – Scottish Field

'His [the Marquis of Bute's] biography by Rosemary Hannah has been one of the chief pleasures of my reading year' – Daily Telegraph

'elegant and beautifully illustrated book' – David Meara, The Times

Shortlisted for Saltire Society Research Book of the Year 2012

When the third Marquess of Bute (1847 - 1900) met the renowned Gothic designer William Burges it marked the start of a lifetime's collaboration with architects and artists, producing work ranging from the High Victorian Gothic exuberance of Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch to the ostentation of Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute and the sumptuous restoration of the Renaissance Falkland Palace. This fascinating biography tells the story of a rich eccentric, whose learning, insight and kindness produced extraordinary results in architecture and life, a man who combined being amongst the richest men of the age with artistic patronage of an almost incomprehensible scale.

Rosemary Hannah gained exceptional first-hand knowledge of Mount Stuart when she lived on the island of Bute. In 2000 she was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Durham for a thesis on the third marquess. She has published in academic journals, including Architectural History, on the interface of art, architecture and patron in the Victorian period. She is currently Church History Co-ordinator for the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church.