His Invention So Fertile : A Life of Christopher Wren: A Life of Christopher Wren

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, USA, Nov 29, 2001 - Architecture - 504 pages
In His Invention So Fertile, Adrian Tinniswood offers the first biography of Christopher Wren in a generation. It is a book that reveals the full depth of Wren's multifaceted genius, not only as one of the greatest architects who ever lived--the designer of St. Paul's Cathedral--but as an influential seventeenth-century scientist. Tinniswood writes with insight and flair as he follows Wren from Wadham College, Oxford, through the turmoil of the English Civil War, to his role in helping to found the Royal Society--the intellectual and scientific heart of seventeenth-century England. The reader discovers that the great architect was initially an astronomer who was also deeply interested in medicine, physics, and mathematics. Family connections pulled him into architecture, with a commission to restore the chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Tinniswood deftly follows Wren's rise as architect, capturing the atmosphere of Restoration London, as old Royalists scrambled for sinecures from Charles II and Wren learned the art of political infighting at court, finally becoming Surveyor of the Royal Works-the King's engineer. Most important, the author recounts the intriguing story of the building of St. Paul's. The Great Fire of 1666--vividly recreated in Tinniswood's narrative--left London a smoldering husk. Wren played a central role in reshaping the city, culminating with St. Paul's, his masterpiece--though he had to steer between King and cathedral authorities to get his radical, domed design built. As the Enlightenment dawned in England, Wren's magnificent dome rose above London, soon to become an icon of London and world architecture. One of the most influential architects in history, Christopher Wren comes vividly to life in this fittingly grand biography.

What people are saying - Write a review

His invention so fertile: a life of Christopher Wren

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Though Christopher Wren (1632-1723) began his career as an astronomer also interested in mathematics, physics, and medicine, he is among the most noted British architects of the Baroque period. Having ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2001)

Adrian Tinniswood has worked for Britain's leading heritage organization., the National Trust, as an author, editor, and educational consultant for 15 years. He lives in Bath, England.

Bibliographic information