Saturday, April 18, 2009

All Souls' Church

I'm off to London next week to do some on-the-ground research for the first book of the Slightly Foxed series (Slightly being a feisty Victorian girl detective, and her first case being in London). And one of the places I'm particularly excited about going to see is All Souls' Church. This is partly because it features in the dastardly plans of my bad guy - and partly because I love how weird and quirky it looks. The architect was John Nash and his design came in for some seriously rude remarks when it was built. For example, a reviewer for The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction August 2, 1828, said

"To our eye, the church itself, apart from the tower, (for such it almost is) is perhaps, one of the most miserable structures in the metropolis,—in its starved proportions more resembling a manufactory, or warehouse, than the impressive character of a church exterior; an effect to which the Londoner is not an entire stranger."

And in March 1824, during a House of Commons debate, one of the MPs described the church as "this deplorable and horrible object."

Like the ugliest puppy in the pet shop, I expect I will lose my heart to this "horrible object" - I'll let you know when I get home again next week.



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