Nikolaus Pevsner: The Life, By Susie Harries


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The Independent Culture

Appropriate in scale for the creator of the 46-volume Buildings of England, this perceptive biography is endowed with a humour rare in Pevsner's meisterwerk.

We learn of his war work clearing rubble, his problems covering South Lancashire for the Buildings series (Manchester left him "speechless with desolation") and his sparring with Betjeman, who dubbed him "Herr-Professor-Doktor".

The scale, skill and enjoyment of this book would surely have earned typical praise from its subject: "Most rewarding."