The Hawksmoor International Lecture Series 2017-2018 :: Phyllis Richardson :: Architecture and Fiction

  • Thursday 5th October 2017, 6.30pm
  • Tessa Blackstone Lecture Theatre [11_0003]

What happens when man-made buildings intersect with structures of the imagination? For centuries, fiction writers have used architecture to give shape and focus to narrative that in turn tells us something about their vision of the world. Most of the novels that have really gripped readers of the English canon convey feelings about buildings that are part of our built heritage, from the physicality of old stone in the novels of Thomas Hardy, to the mysticism of the Gothic style and its ghostly presence in genre novels from The Castle of Otranto, to Jane Eyre to Harry Potter. Architecture matters to fiction, but how has this relationship evolved and how will it affect the fiction of the digital age?

Phyllis Richardson is the author of several books on architecture and design, including the highly successful XS series, Nano House, and the forthcoming Superlight, published in the UK by Thames and Hudson. She has written on architecture, urban development and travel for the Financial Times, The Observer and DWELL magazine in the US. She has an M.A. in Anglo-American Literature and has published many reviews of literary fiction in the TLS, the now-defunct Los Angeles Times Book Review and other journals. She teaches English literature on the Integrated Degree programme at Goldsmiths, University of London, and blogs about architecture and occasional literary topics on Archetcetera.