Introduction
Constructing Classicism: architecture in an age of commerce
in The birth of modern London
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The desire to smooth out and explain away the inconsistencies in British classicism was evident more recently in Giles Worsley's book, Classical Architecture in Britain: The Heroic Age, of 1995, in which the late seventeenth century becomes an 'interlude' in his version of British classicism. Besides the search for respectable precedents to validate 'native' architecture many historians have gone one step further and attempted to create a coherent classical tradition within England. With regard to architectural practice the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century in Britain has traditionally been seen as a transitional period between the medieval and the modern. It was the time at which the building process changed from being a locally organized craft-based activity into a commercial industry. This introduction aims to outline the main themes in the text and the historiography which it addresses.

The birth of modern London

The development and design of the city 1660–1720

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