Cottages ornés The Charms of the Simple Life Roger White

Publication date:
05 Sep 2017
Yale University Press
272 pages: 267 x 216mm
193 color + 50 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Tracing the history of cottages ornés (ornamental cottages), this copiously illustrated volume offers an engaging survey of an often-overlooked architectural genre. An invention of mid-18th-century England, these cottages were designed to facilitate a more informal way of living and were built in different guises that range from royal and imperial cottages to the working-class lodges that still dot the English countryside. Analyzing cottage designs by some of the leading architects of late-Georgian England—including Robert Adam, John Soane, and John Nash—Roger White explores the aesthetic values that made the form so appealing. As he follows the development of cottages ornés from the Celtic fringes to the Continent and the British colonies, White reveals the significant impact of the genre on social, cultural, and political history and examines the influence of cottage design on the architectural developments of the Victorian period and even the 20th century. 

Roger White is an architectural historian specializing in the Georgian period.

'...comprehensive, scholarly and hugely enjoyable book' — Peter Parker, A Magazine for RIBA Friends of Architecture, October 2017

' little regarded purpose of architecture is to entertain: Cottages Ornés shows that this is not an ignoble aim, and both the aim and book are worth celebrating.' — Philip Wilkinson, English Buildings blog

‘This is a book to dip into, discover buildings and details not known to the reader before.’ — Bettina Harden, The Georgian.

‘readable, authoritative, and beautifully illustrated’ — Matthew Sanders, Ancient Monuments Society Newsletter 

'Roger White’s illuminating piece of social history is a perfect bedtime read that will ensure you go to sleep with a smile on your face.’ — Colin McDowell,The Times Luxx magazine

‘authoritative survey’ – Timothy Brittain-CatlinWorld of Interiors

“This book is an excellent and enlightening survey” – Jeremy Musson, The Art Newspaper

“A comprehensive study of the ornamental cottage” —Rosemary Yallop, The Burlington Magazine

“This is a lavishly-illustrated large-format book that appreciates and seeks to map the adoption of vernacular aesthetics into elite British design, conducted via an extensive survey of photographs, sketches, plans, watercolours and prints”— Karen Sayer, Cercles