Medievalizing Victorian Heart(h)s: A. W. N. Pugin’s Medieval Court (1851)

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1851, is a date often chosen to signal the beginning of the mid-Victorian period, witnessed the "Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations", featuring Albert, the Prince Consort (1819-1861), as a stately sponsor and a 'royal' patron. In
spite of the modern and universal outlook of the Exhibition, purporting to act as a showcase of the industrial, technological and artistic primacy attained by the "workshop of the world", propped up and sustained by economic, financial, commercial and colonial infrastructures and networks, it also allocated space to 'Ye
olde mediaeval past', through a pavilion designed by A. W. N. Pugin (1812-1852) and decorated with medieval-looking artifacts. What relationships or articulations, if any, can then be drawn between Pugin's 19th century present and his cherished medieval
past?; or between Victorian times, often referred to as "the age of progress" and/or "the age of improvement", and the inspirational recollection of the 'dark' and 'backward' Middle Ages?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages15
JournalGaudium Sciendi
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • A. W. N. Pugin
  • Medieval Court
  • Anglo-Catholicism
  • Great Exhibition (1851)


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