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Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/18

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PREFACE.

arrived when their affiliation can be pointed out, if it ever can be, and the study of architecture may be raised from dry details of measurements to the dignity of a historical science.

In the present work it is intended that the first two volumes shall cover the same extent of ground as was comprised in the two volumes of the "Handbook," as originally published, with such enlargement as is requisite to incorporate all recent additions to our knowledge; and chapters will be added on Celtic—or, as they are vulgarly called, Druidical—remains omitted in the "Handbook." The "History of Modern Architecture" will thus form the third volume of the work; and when—if ever—it comes to be reprinted, it is intended to add a Glossary of architectural terms, and other matters necessary to complete the book. When all this is done, the work will be increased from 1500 pages, which is the number comprised in the three volumes as at present published, to more than 2000 pages, and the illustrations will be augmented in at least an equal ratio.[1] Notwithstanding all this, it is too evident that even then the work can only be considered as an introduction to the subject, and it would require a work at least ten times as large to do full justice even to our present knowledge of the history of architecture. Any one at all familiar with the literature of the subject can see at once why this is so. Viollet le Duc, for instance, is now publishing a dictionary of French architecture from the eleventh to the sixteenth century. The work will consist, when complete, of ten volumes, and probably 5000 illustrations. Yet even this will by no means exhaust the history of the style in one country of Europe during the five centuries indicated. It would require at least as many volumes to illustrate, even imperfectly, the architectural history of England during the same period. Germany would fill an equal number; and the mediæval architecture of Italy and Spain could not be described in less space.

In other words, fifty volumes and 20,000 woodcuts would barely suffice to complete what must in the present work be compressed into 500 pages, with a like number of illustrations.

Under these circumstances it will be easily understood that this book is far from pretending to be a complete or exhaustive history of the art. It is neither an atlas nor a gazetteer, but simply a general map of the architectural world, and,—if I may be allowed the small joke—on Mercator's projection. It might with propriety be called an


  1. The number of illustrations in the chapters of the Handbook comprised in this first volume of the History was 441. They now stand at .536; and in the second volume the ratio of increase will probably be even greater.