Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Catching out Pevsner

Following my visit on Sunday to St Mary Magdalen's Brighton I thought I would see what Pevsner, and his revisers and editors, say about the building. A trip to the bookshelves to look at Sussex revealed that they had little to say - in fact they have nothing at all to say. I did not have time to look at the new, additional, volume in the series specifically on Brighton and Hove to see if that included the church.

Now I know that not all nineteenth century churches of all denominations make it to the pages of Pevsner - a fact which betrays a prejudice of the era which initially produced The Buildings of England, but one which ought now to be being rectified. However St Mary Magdalen's is a fine building by a decent architect, and omitting it seems rather silly in looking at a city one of whose principal architectural interests is its collection of nineteenth century churches. Pevsner certainly got to the end of Upper North Street as he includes the ancient parish church of St Nicholas, less than five minutes walk away. Without falling into Catholic paranoia I suspect that had it been an Anglican church it would have made the list. So, to make up, here is the Wikipedia entry on the church. Bit rum that Wikipedia is better than Pevsner in these matters when you think about it.

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