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Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library
The Libraries of George III

George III was a keen bibliophile


A treatise on civil architecture


55.2 x 38.3 cm (book measurement (conservation)) | RCIN 1150276

Chambers’s Treatise is the first part of a projected architectural handbook. It covers the ‘decorative part’ of architecture. According to Chambers, he set out ‘to collect into one volume what is now dispersed in a great many, and to select, from mountains of promiscuous Materials, a Series of Sound Precepts and good Designs’. This quickly became the most popular practical work on architecture in the English language.

In a draft letter to George III, Chambers stated that the work was ‘originally written for your Majesty’s information’. Although it was published by subscription and ‘His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ heads the list of subscribers, it is likely that Chambers bore much of the expenditure involved in the book’s publication.

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