The importance of A. W. N. Pugin (1812-52) in the history of the Gothic Revival, in the development of ecclesiology, in the origins of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and in architectural theory is incontestable. A leading British architect who was also a designer of furniture, textiles, stained glass, metalwork, and ceramics, he is one of the most significant figures of the mid-nineteenth century and one of the greatest designers. His correspondence is important because it provides more insight into the man and more information about his work than any other source. In this volume Pugin resumes his collaboration with Charles Barry on the greatest architectural commission of the nineteenth century: the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament. Several of Pugin's major churches are opened, including St Barnabas's in Nottingham and St Mary's in Newcastle on Tyne, both subsequently raised to the status of cathedral. The volume of Pugin's work in the applied arts grows, and his most sumptuous book - the Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and Costume - is published, becoming one of the chief ways in which his influence grew.
He builds a house for himself at Ramsgate, one of the best examples of his domestic manner, and work begins on his own church of St Augustine, possibly his most significant building. He takes on his only pupil, J. H. Powell, who subsequently becomes an important designer in his own right.