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The Grand Designer
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Publication Date
01 May 2012
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
Out of Stock
Birlinn Limited

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

'An exemplary biography' – Royal Institute of British Architects Journal

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

'[An] 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 first became interested in the third Marquess of Bute when she lived on the island of Bute. Whilst working as a guide at Mount Stuart she gained exceptional first-hand knowledge of the building. In 2000 she was awarded a PhD degree from the University of Durham for a thesis on the third marquess. She is currently Church History co-ordinator for the Theological Institute of the Scottish Episcopal Church and lives in Ayrshire.