Buildings are more like us than we realise. They can be born into wealth or poverty, enjoying every privilege or struggling to make ends meet. They have parents — gods, kings and emperors, governments, visionaries and madmen — as well as friends and enemies. They have duties and responsibilities. They can endure crises of faith and purpose. They can succeed or fail. They can live. And, sooner or later, they die.
In Fallen Glory, James Crawford uncovers the biographies of some of the world’s most fascinating lost and ruined buildings, from the dawn of civilisation to the cyber era. The lives of these iconic structures are packed with drama and intrigue. Soap operas on the grandest scale, they feature war and religion, politics and art, love and betrayal, catastrophe and hope. Frequently their afterlives have been no less dramatic — their memories used and abused down the millennia for purposes both sacred and profane. They provide the stage for a startling array of characters, including Gilgamesh, the Cretan Minotaur, Agamemnon, Nefertiti, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII, Catherine the Great, Adolf Hitler, and even Bruce Springsteen.
Ranging from the deserts of Iraq, the banks of the Nile and the cloud forests of Peru, to the great cities of Jerusalem, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, London and New York, Fallen Glory is a unique guide to a world of vanished architecture. And, by picking through the fragments of our past, it asks what history’s scattered ruins can tell us about our own future.
This paperback edition includes a new chapter about Palmyra.
James Crawford works for Scotland's National Collection of architecture and archaeology. Born in the Shetlands in 1978, he studied History and Philosophy of Law at the University of Edinburgh, winning the Lord President Cooper Memorial Prize. His first major work of non-fiction, 'Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of Twenty Lost Buildings From the Tower of babel to the Twin Towers' was published in November 2015. He has previously written a number of photographic books, including 'Above Scotland: The National Collection of Aerial Photography', 'Victorian Scotland', 'Scotland's Landscapes', and 'Aerofilms: A History of Britain from Above'. In 2013, he wrote and acted as design consultant on 'Telling Scotland's Story', a graphic novel guide to Scottish Archaeology. He lives in Edinburgh.