The Classical Vernacular: Architectural Principles in an Age of Nihilism

roger-scruton-classical-vernacularCarcanet Press (1995)

Roger Scruton is never less than forthright, and in his lucid and challenging essays on architecture he anatomises the spatial imagination of the age by analysis and comparison.

The essays, from the perspective of 'the classical vernacular', explore the nature and meaning of architecture, defending architecture without architects, and the 'vernacular tradition', that 'vulgar tongue' which is the natural language of space, proportion and light. He provides a comprehensive critique of modernism (not only the heartless modernism of architecture) from a serious intellectual perspective, based in a philosophical aesthetics which he has propounded in earlier books including The Politics of Culture (1981), The Aesthetic Understanding (1983) and The Philosopher on Dover Beach (1990), all published by Carcanet in its collections of Scruton's major essays and articles.

Scruton, Anthony Quinton declared, 'writes with great force and freshness. He is humblingly intelligent. Above all, he is consistently interesting.' In these essays written over the last decade and a half, he proves Quinton right time after time. He looks at and through the work of nineteenth- and twentieth-century architects and appraises not only their achievement but the values that inform or distort their work in relation to those of us who live in, or alongside, their structures.

Latest Articles

Scrutopia Book Club

Join us on Friday 23rd October at 2pm for the second in our series of virtual book club meetings.    What to read: Conversations with Roger Scruton, and I am delighted...

Before & After Scruton, The European Conservative - 17 Aug 20

I usually jest that my life divides into two parts: ‘Before Scruton’ and ‘After Scruton.’ My first five books were devoted to Søren Kierkegaard, Jacques Derrida, ethics, and postmodern theology....

Roger Scruton’s Architectural Morality, The American Conservative - 15 Aug 20

Very few of us will ever be referred to in the adjectival form. Yet Roger Scruton (1944-2020) deserves such an appellation, and as early as 1985, “Scrutonian gusto” appeared in...

Scruton’s housing vision is finally being realised - The Spectator, 10 Aug 20

The government’s white paper on planning reform makes frequent reference to Roger Scruton and his Building Beautiful Commission – on which I worked as Scruton’s research assistant. If Scruton had lived to...

Recent Books

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Roger Scruton: Philosopher on Dover Beach

Bloomsbury (2009) Roger Scruton is one of the outstanding British philosophers of the post-war years. Why then is he at best ignored and at worst reviled? Part of the reason...

Wagner's Parsifal: The Music of Redemption

‘Wagner’s Parsifal – The Music of Redemption’  This short but penetrating book, by a writer who was uniquely both a leading philosopher and musicologist, shows us how Wagner achieves this...

Souls in the Twilight

Beaufort Books  (October 2018) As the lights that have guided us go out, people begin to wander in the twilight, seeking their place of belonging. In these stories, set in...

2020 Events

Virtual Book Club - Fri 23 Oct 2020

Green Philosophy Day - 6 Sept 2020

Launch of the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation - 26 Aug 20