This article was originally published in E.W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer edited by Susan Weber Soros. Published for Bard Graduate Center, New York, by Yale Unversity Press, New Haven and London, 1999.

From the exhibition: E. W. Godwin: Aesthetic Movement Architect and Designer.

E. W. Godwin’s best-known designs are those in which he appears to have escaped from the evolutionary dead end of the Gothic Revival. The White House, Frank Miles’s studio, and the famous Godwin sideboard with its spare, stark functionalism seem to have no precedents. Yet in 1858 Godwin believed that a true, original Victorian style would emerge from the Gothic, not in opposition to it.1 Godwin’s antiquarian studies ranged far beyond the Gothic, taking him to Homeric and classical Greece, Celtic Ireland, eleventh-century Denmark, and Saxon, Jacobean, and even Restoration England. “Archaeology” permeated every aspect of his career. It was the foundation for much of his architectural, theatrical, and journalistic work, and also for his interior design practice, including furniture and textiles. The study of the past provided Godwin with design ideas, introduced him to friends and clients, gained him a formidable reputation as an “authority,” and gave him some splendid opportunities for argument with his professional brethren. For Godwin it was more than a professional necessity, it was an enthusiasm and a delight.

Gothic Revival architecture, in its early phase, was a matter of decorative “quotations,” such as crockets castellations, and pointed-arch windows with elaborate tracery, which were instantly recognizable to laymen as “medieval,” applied haphazardly to forms that were not. This romantic, picturesque approach gradually gave way to a more scholarly use of medieval forms in architecture. In the early and mid-nineteenth century, Thomas Rickman, John Britton, Robert Willis, J. H. Parker, and William Whewell, among others, established a nomenclature, chronology, and classification for medieval buildings, which, although the details were still being argued decades later, provided a framework for the study and selection of architectural styles.2

Godwin was eager to establish his credentials as a successor to these men, who had raised this branch of knowledge to the “dignity of a science.”3 He stressed his own scientific methodology in his antiquarian writing. For example, in a series of articles he wrote for the Architect in 1875, entitled “Old English or Saxon Building,” Godwin emphasized the scientific nature of his inquiry by appropriating the language of forensics: he listened to evidence and called witnesses; he examined and tested them; he summed up and finally arrived at a verdict.4 For Godwin, however, antiquarian science was not an end in itself. It was merely the secure foundation for the exercise of the imagination. Toward the end of his life, he wrote that the study of the past was “a science that clothes and reanimates the dead, and gives colour to the pale, shadowy forms of forgotten folk. The purpose of the archaeologist is to bring before us those old times, to make history a reality.”5 This remark shows that Godwin’s response to the past was as close to the emotionally charged historical romanticism of Ruskin as to the scholarship of the pioneering “scientific” antiquaries.

Godwin spent part of his childhood in a house called Earl’s Mead on the outskirts of Bristol. Its garden was full of crumbling fragments of old buildings collected by his father William.6 One of Godwin’s early sketchbooks contains undated drawings—a bracket carved in the form of an angel, a gargoyle, and a fragment of a perpendicular window—which are labeled “Lower Garden” and “in Upper Garden.”7 It seems likely that these objects were sketched by Godwin at Earl’s Mead when he was a boy. Godwin’s interest in other antiquarian studies, such as heraldry and costume, appears to have predated his architectural pupilage,8 but his first serious forays into the study of the past are inextricably linked with his architectural training. Godwin learned to be an antiquary as part of the process of becoming an architect.

By the time Godwin began his architectural pupilage, in about 1848, it was becoming accepted that knowledge of medieval styles was an important part of an architect’s training and would in all likelihood be a requirement of his practice. Several of the older generations of architects, George Gilbert Scott and George Edmund Street, for example, were already building in Gothic Revival styles firmly rooted in antiquarian scholarship rather than in mock Gothic picturesque. There was a difference between best practice and usual practice: throughout Godwin’s lifetime, architects and builders continued to produce buildings consisting of incongruous mixtures of medieval decoration stuck onto inappropriate forms, or of scraps from the many available illustrated architectural pattern books, cobbled together with what Godwin called “a most amusing disregard of conventionality, both of time and place.”9 However, for the men at the top of the profession—and Godwin aspired to be one of them—scholarly knowledge of the buildings of the past was a professional necessity. In Godwin’s ledgers his membership fee for the Society of Antiquaries appears as a professional expense, along with drawing materials and the cost of entertaining clients.10

There were architects who considered antiquarian study a waste of time. Godwin’s pupil master, the Bristol architect William Armstrong, appears to have been one of them. In 1878 Godwin characterized Armstrong as a “practical man.”11 He may have been remembering his own training when he remarked that practical men “look upon archaeology with disdain and talk of it as ‘an amusement all very well for those who have nothing to do,’ … believe me, this is no fanciful picture, but, on the contrary, one drawn from the very expressions that I have heard used.”12 Although Godwin did write of sketching and measuring expeditions with Armstrong,13 it seems that as an antiquary he was largely self-taught, initially from architectural books and periodicals.

Recalling his own pupilage, Godwin published an open letter to architectural students in 1880, advising then on suitable reading matter for their studies.14 In keeping with his imaginative, romantic approach to the past, he said that he had learned more about the ancient world, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance from the Bible, Chaucer and Shakespeare than from books on architecture. He went on, however, to recommend a selection of architectural books from which a pupil might learn the basic vocabulary and grammar of Gothic. These books were his own foundation as a “scientific” antiquary.

While in Armstrong’s office, in his “first steady settling down to the study of Gothic,” Godwin had read “Parker’s ‘Glossary,’ Bloxham’s [sic] capital little book, Rickman, Barr, and sundry serial works.”15 Matthew Bloxam’s Principles of Gothic Architecture, which gave a selection of examples and then a chronological classification, was particularly useful. Godwin suggested in 1880 that “What Bloxham did for Gothic architecture might well be done for Chinese, Indian, Egyptian and other styles.”16 Godwin also recommended publications that had careful, accurate illustrations, such as Architectural Parallels (1848) by Edmund Sharpe, and a series by Henry Bowman and J. S. Crowther entitled The Churches of the Middle Ages (1845-53). Many of the standard books on Gothic architecture were available in the library of the Bristol Society of Architects, which Godwin joined soon after its foundation in 1850.17

At an early age, Godwin also began to put together a small library of his own. Half of his £100 legacy from his father, who died in 1846, “went to pay bills or a/cs at Booksellers incurred during [his] minority.”18 This was a large sum of money, only just under half of what an architectural clerk might earn in a year. Godwin’s purchases in about 184919 include Thomas Rickman’s Attempt to discriminate the styles of architecture in England from the Conquest to the Reformation, the book that had established the nomenclature of Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular styles; A. C. Pugin’s Specimens of Gothic Architecture, with text by E. J. Willson (four guineas for the two volumes); and the volumes on Gloucester Cathedral and Wells Cathedral from John Brittan’s Historical and descriptive accounts … of English Cathedrals.20 Godwin noted the names of the engravers and the illustrators as well as the authors. More than twenty years after buying his copy of Pugin’s Specimens, Godwin was still an admirer of the “careful architectural drawings, with their dimensions clearly indicated, and their details elaborately and scientifically displayed.”21 The engraver John Le Keux, who had collaborated with A. C. Pugin, was a particular favorite, appearing several times on the list.

Good, accurate drawings were important to Godwin. Although he sketched extensively in England, he never traveled widely in Europe or farther afield. He was one of the enthusiasts for Early French Gothic in the 1860s but did not visit France until he was in his late twenties. He returned from this trip with only one sketch, of shadow falling on a string course.22 His most likely sources for illustrations of French buildings are W. E. Nesfield’s book, Specimens of Mediaeval Architecture, and the then-unpublished measured drawings by fellow architect William Burges.23 Godwin did not visit Belgium and Germany until he was in his forties. His brief enthusiasm for thirteenth-century Italian Gothic, fueled by Ruskin’s Stones of Venice, had relied on George Edmund Street’s careful illustrations in Brick and Marble Architecture in the Middle Ages: Notes of a Tour in the North of Italy (1855). Ruskin’s book was illustrated with beautiful, almost impressionistic etchings rather than useful measured drawings. Godwin never visited Italy, nor did he go to Greece, although he was to write extensively on Greek antiquities. He did visit Denmark while researching architecture and costume for Hamlet, but for his articles on the painted decoration at Roda and Bjeresjøe churches he had to rely on the illustrations in N. M. Mandelgren’s book, Monuments scandinaves du moyen-âge.24

Although Godwin studied other people’s illustrations, he did not entirely trust their accuracy. He recognized the potential of photography early in his career and gave a lecture to the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1867 on the photographs exhibited that year by the Architectural Photographic Association.25 Toward the end of his life, he used photographs for reliable visual evidence in the creation of historically accurate costumes for the play Claudian.26 Although he argued that students would gain more of an understanding of a building by extensive sketching than by photography or the use of published illustrations, he seems to have considered photography and sketching to be complementary,27 and in his open letter to students in 1880, in addition to his recommended list of architectural books, he advocated “the contemplation and enjoyment—the critical examination and comparison of photographs and other illustrations of the best art works of all times.”28

From books, photographs, and illustrations Godwin learned to date and classify portions of buildings on stylistic grounds. An early notebook, of about 1850-51, contains his architectural descriptions of Sussex churches. It shows how he used his reference books while he was learning this skill.29 He wrote the descriptions from tracings of published illustrations rather than from the churches themselves and backed up his work with measurements and quotations taken from “authorities”: Parker, Bloxam, and Rickman.

Godwin’s reliance on other people’s facts, measurements, and illustrations was to lessen over the years as he accumulated a body of information from his own direct observation of buildings. His earliest dated sketch, of the east window in the north transept of West Kington Church, was made on May 12, 1849, when he was fifteen years old.30 His earliest surviving sketch book, of 1848-5l, includes a “list of places to visit—1849.”31 An undated, handwritten list at the back of an offprint of an article by Godwin of 1853 is inscribed “Summary of Churches visited.” There are 145 locations, including holy wells and crosses, in Bristol, Somerset , Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, and Wales.32

Much of Godwin’s early antiquarian work is undated, but it is possible to discern some development in his methods from the time of the notebook on Sussex churches.

At some point between l849 and 185l, he began to look in a limited way at original documents, taking some notes and measurements from James Nasmith’s 1778 edition of William de Wyrcestre’s Itinerary, which is an important source of information for Bristol’s early ecclesiastical foundations.33 Godwin began to add his own initials to his lists of authorities consulted. In March 1852, for example, he constructed “A Chronological table of the existing Wall bell-turrets of England.” Of the eleven places on this list, Godwin had visited six. For the church of Leigh de la Mere (which was one of the buildings Godwin had felt he should visit in 1849), the authorities are listed as the Reverend J. L. Petit, the Builder, and himself.34

Godwin also learned that other people’s facts should be checked. Among his papers are two sets of measured sketches of Saint James’s Church in Bristol. One is marked: “St James (according to Dudley)” and the other is headed: “St James Ch. (according to J. H . & E. W. G.)” with some small differences in the measurements.35 “J. H.” was James Hine, a fellow pupil in Armstrong’s office and Godwin’s companion on a number of sketching expeditions, including an antiquarian holiday in Cornwall in 1852.36

Hine was three years older than Godwin, and it is a measure of Godwin’s remarkable precocity as an antiquary that the two issued the prospectus of an illustrated series, The Architectural Antiquities of Bristol and its Neighbourhood, in March 1850 when Godwin was still only sixteen years old.37 The series was intended to be published in six parts, although only the first was issued, in 1851.38

The text of the book is unattributed, but it is likely that Godwin contributed at least the section on Saint Mary Redcliffe, in which the architectural description and classification are limited by the space available. The historical information is very thin: “old chronicles of the city” are quoted but not identified. One manuscript source was used,39 and the other information came from the Chronological Outline of the History of Bristol (1824) by John Evans.40 Godwin contributed two plates: one showing the north porch of Saint Mary Redcliffe, and the other, the porch’s carved capitals. Among Godwin’s papers are several inked preliminary drawings which give measurements and show sections of the moldings of the capitals and details of carved figures and flowers.41 These do not appear in the published plate, however, nor are they present in Godwin’s fine wash drawing from which the plate was taken. Soon after this book was published, Godwin abandoned pretty drawings in favor of “scientific” clarity. There is only one other example of a published antiquarian paper by Godwin that is illustrated by drawings without their accompanying “scientific” details or sections of moldings, or plans, “A Notice of a singular and ancient coffin lid in St Philip’s Church, Bristol,” which was also written in 1851 and subsequently published in the Archaeological Journal in 1853, the first of eight papers that Godwin contributed to that journal between 1853 and 1865.42

The year 1851 was pivotal in other ways as well. Following the publication of The Architectural Antiquities of Bristol and its Neighbourhood, Godwin joined the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, which held its annual conference in Bristol in July 1851.43 Several distinguished antiquaries contributed papers, including E.A. Freeman and John Britton. Godwin himself read his short paper on the ancient coffin lid in Saint Philip’s to the section of antiquaries at the conference.44 A temporary museum was set up; among its exhibits were drawings of all of the objects in the Royal Irish Academy. Decades later, in 1878, Godwin was to suggest the use of “some combinations taken from some of the treasures of the Royal Irish Academy” in the decoration of Princess Louise’s studio.45 The objects in the R.I.A. also provided inspiration for some of the decorative designs at Dromore Castle in about 1868-69.46 A group of Danish relics was shown at the Bristol Conference, presented by Jens Jakob Asmussen Worsaae, a Danish historian and archaeologist who lectured at the University of Copenhagen. In 1884 Godwin would consult Worsaae on the costumes of Hamlet.

The highlight of the conference, however, was a lecture and demonstration on Wells Cathedral, given by the Jacksonian Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge, Robert Willis, who was to have a profound effect on Godwin’s development as an antiquary. Godwin may have heard Willis lecture before this occasion. There is a suggestive concentration of Oxford buildings in Godwin’s sketchbook of 1848-51, which may coincide with the Oxford conference of the Archaeological Institute, held in 1850, at which Willis had read a paper.47 Godwin was clearly familiar with Willis’s work in developing a commonly understood architectural nomenclature when he used Willis’s term “scoinson arch” to describe the inner arch of the east window of Colerne Church in a manuscript paper of October 1851.48 That he had heard Willis lecture is also obvious from Godwin’s obituary of the architect Sir George Gilbert Scott, in which Godwin refers to “the many who used to listen with bated breath to Willis’s wonderful lectures at the annual outings of the Archaeological Institute … ” and to “the professor’s brilliant demonstrations.”49

Williss method was characterized by its emphasis on documentary sources of information. His first step before beginning to examine a building was to lay a foundation of historical facts. He would consult the existing written records: the fabric-rolls, estate records, and muniments. From these documents he produced a chronology of the building works. Once he had this information he would study the building itself. Willis’s second characteristic was a reluctance to make dogmatic statements without proof. He would build evidence, piece by piece, until “at last he had succeeded in deciphering [the history of the building] beyond the possibility of mistake … ”50 Thirdly, his study was unusually thorough, and he was praised in his obituary as a “demonstrator of the anatomy of ancient buildings … not content with the ordinary vague recognition of one portion as thirteenth century and another as fourteenth, and so on, he strove to discover the portions which each individual had directed, to trace the place where the work had been abandoned, and to detect by small peculiarities of design or workmanship the resumption of it by a different hand.”51 From Willis, Godwin acquired a methodology, a respect for original documentary sources, an increased concern for “scientific” accuracy in antiquarian study, and a penchant for anatomizing (rather than merely classing) buildings. “If a building is worth your study at all, it is worth dissecting,” Godwin wrote in 1878. “Take your subject to pieces.”52

During the 1850s Godwin gradually—and rather unevenly at first—adopted Willis’s methods. In October 1851 he wrote a minutely detailed “Architectural Description and history of Saint Peter’s Church Colerne Wilts.”53 In its favor, the paper demonstrates Godwin’s close observation of the fabric of the church. Otherwise, it reveals Godwin to be rather cavalier with dates and careless to the extent of wrongly identifying the name of the dedicatee of the church—it should have been Saint John the Baptist. He is also dogmatic in his conclusions without presenting any of the underlying arguments. In a later paper based on this study, dated August 1855 in the text and published by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine in 1857,54 Godwin revised the essay, cutting it considerably and adding a section that shows him attempting to use Willis’s methods. In the 1855 revision he mentioned that he had “not been able to look into the Acts of William de Colerne, Abbot of Malmsbury” but had consulted the Colerne muniments in the possession of New College. He also noted, however, that “in the absence of all documentary evidence relative to the history of this church, we are obliged to refer to the character of the architecture for the dates of the several portions.”55 He did this quite successfully, pointing out the junctions between later and earlier masonry, and where he could not prove his points, he was careful with his phrasing, using “it appears,” “it is not improbable,” and “it is more than probable” to signify the uncertainty.56

There are traces of Willis in several of Godwin’s papers of the 1850s, but the full flowering of his influence came in the early 1860s, when Godwin revived the moribund Bristol Society of Architects and began to organize excursions, with lectures and demonstrations, along Willisian lines. The first excursion, in August 1862, was to Wells Cathedral, on which Willis had lectured in 1851. There followed excursions to Queen Charlton and Chew Magna, Exeter, Llandaff, churches in Somerset, Salisbury and Gloucester cathedrals, Chepstow and Caldecott castles, and sites in Bristol itself. Godwin lectured on almost every occasion, and several of his papers, notably those on Wells, Exeter, and Gloucester cathedrals, show him duplicating Willis’s practice and referring frequently to Willis’s own remarks on those buildings.57 In a paper on Bristol Cathedral, in which Godwin attempted to “dissect its various styles,” he not only came to the conclusion that “archaeology is not fully satisfied unless we fairly estimate the traditional and documentary evidence,”58 but also managed to upstage the professor by arguing that doubts raised by Willis in 1851 at the Bristol conference as to the extent of the Decorated-style rebuilding of the cathedral at the time of Edmund Knowle could have been cleared up by consulting William de Wyrcestre’s Itinerary.

A great many architects sketched and measured: the process was part of training to be a Gothic revivalist and an architect. Many also published papers on antiquarian subjects. Godwin stands out from the majority of his contemporaries for several reasons. There was his enthusiasm for the study of the past which was captured by a writer for the Western Daily Press in a report on one of the Bristol Society of Architects’ excursions, during which Godwin “led at a slapping pace … [and] dashed into his subject with such impetuosity” that he left most of his followers behind. The reporter caught up at the site of the Pithay gate, where he found “Mr Godwin, a lighted cigar in one hand and a silk umbrella in the other … describing with great spirit” surrounded by puzzled locals. After a long walk, “Mr Godwin had now been talking … for more than three hours—during which the lecturer’s attention never flagged, and his umbrella seldom failed to point out some object of interest.”59

This enthusiasm explains another way in which Godwin began to diverge from the norm among his contemporaries. He increasingly made forays into documentary, literary, and manuscript evidence for their own sake as well as to complement his studies of the fabric of buildings. In 1875, the year of Willis’s death, Godwin published the series of articles entitled “Old English or Saxon Building.”60 These essays are characterized, like Willis’s papers, by their reliance on documentary evidence, the thoroughness of the research, and the step-by-step methodology. Godwin claimed to have “personally examined … every page of more than two dozen manuscripts.” Where he was unable to see original documents—such as the original ninth-century plan of the monastery of Saint Gall—he consulted as many copies as possible, passing comment on the “inaccuracies of omission and commission” on the part of the great French architect and antiquary Eugène Viollet-le-Duc and the architectural writer James Fergusson.61 When he consulted facsimiles, not originals, he was careful to say so.

The subject of Saxon architecture was a difficult one, and Godwin, in his interpretation, was going against the grain of contemporary thinking. Fergusson had questioned whether “any such thing existed as true Saxon architecture,” and J. H. Parker had argued that before the year 1000 the Saxons had constructed only in wood.62 The “witnesses” were already well known; individually they had been dismissed as unreliable.63 What Godwin did in his paper was to reexamine the whole question in a rigorous, thorough and methodical way, eliminating as many of the potentially unreliable secondary sources as possible. The most striking characteristic of this research was the extent to which the documentation eclipsed the evidence provided by actual buildings. This was only partly an accident of survival. Godwin had gone further than Willis by not only looking at building rolls and such contemporary illustrations as there were, but also at literary sources. He was convinced that historical truth underlay poetic license.

Godwin’s literary sources for Saxon building included two rather fanciful histories, two poems, and an account of the miracles of Saint Swithin. These, according to a reviewer in the Examiner, might on their own have been dismissed as “mere rhetoric” or “poet’s manufacture.”64 Used in conjunction with the documentary, pictorial, and built evidence, however, this literary evidence began to look much more substantial and was crucial in establishing Godwin’s theory that the Saxons did indeed build in stone, and that several features believed to be characteristic of Norman architecture were present in the earlier buildings. It was a triumph of methodology, and the same writer in the Examiner noted that the evidence had never before been examined with “so much method or fullness.”65

Godwin’s early antiquarian papers were mostly published in specialist archaeological and antiquarian journals, and they are, frankly, rather dull. The “Old English or Saxon Building” series, while fiercely erudite and self-consciously “scientific”—Godwin never did wear his learning lightly—have a dimension that the early papers lack. The foray into literature marks a fusion of Godwin’s romantic enthusiasm for the past with his intellectual appreciation for the dry, accurate antiquarian science. This process had begun in 1871-72 with articles on “Geoffrey Chaucer as Clerk of the King’s Works,”66 “Spenser’s Castles, &c” and “Kilcolman,”67 and continued in 1874 and 1875 with a series of thirty-two articles entitled “The Architecture and Costume of Shakespere’s [sic] Plays.” By 1886 Godwin’s literary enthusiasm had begun to overwhelm his “scientific” methodology. In that year he published “The Greek Home According to Homer,”68 an essay that was fundamentally flawed by its overreliance on literary texts.

What the Victorians believed to be two epic poems written by a man called Homer are now considered to be late versions of long-surviving orally transmitted poems, composed anew in each retelling and subject to inevitable interpolations over the years between their first appearance and the time at which they were written down. The texts are a difficult and unreliable source to use as history. Godwin was well aware that “it is in … pieces of collateral evidence that so much value lies as it enables us to separate the real from the fanciful not uncommonly confronted when one source of information is too much insisted on,”69 but the collateral evidence known to the Victorians—that of archeology—was also flawed. Godwin’s reading of the text of the Homeric poems made him extremely dubious about Heinrich Schliemann’s excavation of the hill of Hissarlik in Turkey, the supposed site of Troy. In 1875, in spite of Schliemann, Godwin decided to “take Homer’s colouring of things as tolerably literal, after allowing for poetical license,”79 and he did not change his opinion even after Schliemann had lectured in 1877 at the Royal Institute of British Architects and explicitly stated that it was not possible to reconcile Homer’s descriptions of Troy with what he had excavated.71 In fact, neither Schliemann’s archaeology nor the Homeric poems are reliable, but Godwin chose to give far greater weight to the literary evidence than to the archaeological, which is a reversal of the common hierarchy of evidence that insists on the primacy of physical remains. In “The Greek Home according to Homer,” Godwin attempted to draw conclusions about the plan of Odysseus’s house at Ithaca based almost solely on internal textual evidence in the Odyssey and the Iliad, accepting archaeological evidence only where it upheld his theory.72

By contrast, one of the earlier “literary” studies shows Godwin’s hierarchy of evidence working properly. For his article on Edmund Spenser’s castles, published in 1872,73 Godwin had seen and sketched Kilcolman castle,74 and the information from Spenser’s poems came lower on the scale of reliability than the evidence of Godwin’s own eyes. Discrepancies were placed firmly at the door of the poetic imagination. In his work on Greek architectural antiquities, Godwin did not have the wide-ranging practical and primary knowledge of the subject that he demonstrates in his antiquarian studies of medieval buildings.

Enthusiasm for the past had carried Godwin into areas of antiquarian study that were not immediately relevant to his practice of architecture . He did believe, however, that “archaeology” was a useful, even necessary, adjunct to architecture—a sister science, perhaps. The nature of the relationship between the two was a problem with which he and all the other revivalist architects had to grapple. Godwin’s lectures and articles are full of warnings against the misuse of archaeology in architectural design: “I have always maintained that we must have a little of it, only to help us recover certain principles of our art which have been lost, but, on the other hand, it is quite possible that we may have too much of it; that instead of its leading us to think for ourselves it may entice us into an almost boundless ocean of antiquarianism; instead of its bringing out our own powers of design it may make us mere collectors and transcribers of the designs of others.”75

This anxiety lies behind Godwin’s most striking divergence from Robert Willis’s method of studying old buildings. Like Willis he studied, classified, and recorded buildings, but one writer noted that, in addition, Godwin had “struck out a somewhat new line for himself, for he has ventured to criticize the work of our forefathers with a courage, which, were it not based on sound judgment and wide knowledge, would be called presumption.”76 Willis was not an architect, whereas Godwin approached buildings from the point of view of a practitioner.

Godwin’s lectures during the excursions of the Bristol Society of Architects are a mixture of Willisian “dissection,” critical aesthetic commentary, and practical instruction. An excursion in 1864 to Gloucester Cathedral found him occupying the “unpleasant office … of fault finder to the Bristol Society of Architects” and employing some splendid invective such as “paralytic masonry” and “architecture in fits” to describe some portions of the building in a lecture entitled “Notes on Architectural Design Illustrated by Gloster [sic] Cathedral.”77 The title gave notice that the antiquarian excursion was to have a practical architectural purpose. Toward the end of his lecture, Godwin asked: “If the instruction and warning which the Cathedral of this town has offered us today be rejected. … If the architectural design as exemplified in Gloucester Cathedral is to be of no use to us what business have we here? …. our excursions had better cease.”78

The purpose of a critical appraisal of an old building was to distill “principles” of architecture from which the architect could then develop his own designs. Godwin suggested that the principles to be learned from Gloucester Cathedral were those of simplicity of arrangement and of proportion and muscular development, by which he meant the relationship of the solids to the voids, “in a word, the power of the design.”79 There were parts that were to point a warning: in particular the overrichness of some of its ornamentation.

The idea of copying principles rather than forms or motifs was far from new. A. W. N. Pugin had suggested it, as had Scott, Street, Burges, and a number of other writers on the Gothic Revival.80 In a sense it was the only possible theoretical solution to the problem of a revival that aimed for both archaeological accuracy and originality. For Godwin this was the legitimate use of antiquarian study. In 1871, writing on the Gothic Revival, Godwin stated that “No amount of mere form will give us a living architecture. We must have the maison d’être, the principles of the construction of that form manifested.”81

Theory and practice, inevitably, came adrift from time to time. Godwin did borrow “scraps” from buildings and incorporated them almost unchanged into designs. For example, a gatehouse design for Dromore took the corbelling of its machicolations directly from Kilmacleurine Castle.82 Godwin also borrowed the triangular ornaments on the facade of Northampton Town Hall from Ruskin’s illustrations of the archivolt on the Duomo of Murano 83 and used similar motifs in his pulpit at Saint Christopher’s Church in Ditteridge. A shop doorway sketched by Godwin at Saint Lô, Normandy, and published in the Building News84 appears, slightly altered in proportion, as the front door of the parsonage at Moor Green, Nottinghamshire.85

The temptation for Godwin to copy directly from old buildings was undoubtedly fueled by his habit of extensive sketching and measuring. He admired his friend William Burges for his powers of “adaptation and assimilation” and for his ability to be “an evolutionist or developist rather than a revivalist.”86 Burges had borrowed an idea from the thirteenth-century French architect Villard de Honnecourt, which was to eschew the careful, accurate antiquarian measured sketch in favor of creative sketching. There are scattered examples of this in Godwin’s own sketchbooks, such as a design “after a church I saw at Rothersthorpe. July 25.68,”87 or another, suggested by a building he had seen at Cadgwith in 1861,88 or two designs for fountains, one “After Burges” and the other suggested by a fountain in a manuscript Godwin had seen in the British Museum.89 This was an attempt to use the past creatively for design ideas and inspiration rather than merely as a source to copy.

Godwin warned against another danger of archaeology, stemming from overenthusiasm for the past. In 1872 he wrote, “To the delight an artist would naturally experience as each new treasure of embroidery, furniture, armour, jewellery, &c, dawned upon him, may be traced many of the anachronisms in the best of our modern Gothic works.”90 He added dismissively that “there is a certain boyish romance about all this, no doubt … ,” as if he had never himself indulged in this, or any, enthusiasm. Godwin was particularly prone to the anachronisms he attributed to overenthusiasm for the past. At Castle Ashby he designed a kitchen garden with vast pier walls topped by tiled coping. After Dromore, his mind may have been running on Irish castles. One sketch in a letter to Lady Alwyne Compton of September 20, 1867, shows a fortified, battlemented wall several feet thick. A flat-coped wall seemed to Godwin “a most objectionable thing as it is easy to scale.”91 Lady Alwyne remarked in her memorandum book that “the ‘herbary’ … was a device of Mr Godwin who delights in Mediaeval subtleties—The roofs to the walls are said to make too much shadow … he did not consult the gardener here, who disapproves of them.”92 In 1878 Godwin admitted to having fallen into the trap of anachronism, by creating designs that were archaeologically correct but functionally flawed. Neither Northampton Town Hall nor Dromore Castle were appropriate to the age. An archway at Dromore, which might have been all right for the period of Edward I, “was decidedly too low for the time of Queen Victoria. A four-in-hand … could not go in there.”93

By 1879, a year after he had written this critique of his own work at Dromore and Northampton, Godwin was well aware that he had broken out of the straitjacket of the revival and built something full of “art and originality,” and “different to the conventional.”94 These buildings, to which he owes much of his fame today, were the studio houses in Tite Street, and especially those he designed for Frank Miles and James McNeill Whistler. Godwin’s continual harping on the theme of learning “principles” rather than borrowing forms perhaps provides a clue to the sudden and surprising emergence of his acclaimed “proto-modern” studio designs. Gloucester cathedral and Frank Miles’s house appear to belong to entirely different worlds, yet it is precisely those qualities Godwin most admired in Gloucester95 that appear in the studio design: muscularity, balance, simplicity of arrangement, and the pleasing proportions of solids and voids. Another lesson of Gloucester had been that these qualities could be ruined by over-elaborate decoration. In the facade of the first design for Frank Miles’s studio, the decoration is restrained, and used sparingly.

In his lecture entitled “Studios and Mouldings,” published in 1879, Godwin wrote about the influence of Greek antiquities on his design of Whistler’s White House: “when we talk about architecture as a fine art we mean refinement, finesse, gentleness; and these qualities we can always trace in Greek mouldings. At Whistler’s house there is an entrance doorway in Portland stone, in which I have endeavoured to express these ideas.”96 Godwin explicitly linked the study and understanding of the principles of Greek work and thirteenth-century Gothic with the evolution of an “architecture of the future.”97 He also implied that his studio designs were the first step in that evolution.

There is a certain irony in the fact that the Metropolitan Board of Works, which rejected the first design for Frank Miles’s studio house and forced Godwin to alter his design for the White House, was advised by the architect George Vulliamy, who had signed Godwin’s acceptance papers welcoming him as a promising new member of the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland nearly thirty years before, in 1851.98

Furniture design did not have to carry the weight of theory that Godwin applied to architecture. There were no jeremiads about the perils of archaeology or anxieties about where the Gothic Revival was taking its adherents. Beyond a few mild remarks about stop chamfers, Oxford frames, and cabinets with shrinelike roofs having had their day,99 Godwin had no qualms even about reproduction. His furniture designs run the full gamut, from strikingly original to outright and unrepentantly imitative. The “Shakspere” (sic) furniture set included a sideboard with turned pendants below the canopy, which owed its general appearance to the seventeenth-century press cupboard. This was considered “original” enough to be the subject of a patent registration,100 whereas the armchair in this set was a reproduction of a chair said to have belonged to Shakespeare.101 Another suite of furniture manufactured by William Watt to Godwin’s designs was “of English character … to the close of the fifteenth century.” It was exhibited at the Royal School of Art Needlework, South Kensington, in 1884, and one writer noticed that it included several pieces of reproduction furniture, including a fireplace from Haddon Hall.102 By contrast , the “Jacobean Oak Sideboard” published in the Building News in 1885 has Jacobean elements—such as the cup-and-cover moldings on the legs, the acanthus brackets, and the pendants below the canopy—and precedents can be found for the open-rail doors in the upper portion, but the proportions and the central leg give the piece a strikingly unusual appearance.103

Godwin’s use of the Greek klismos form—a type of chair with splayed curved legs and a curved back originating in ancient Greece—shows the same range, from copyism to creativity. He sketched an example of a klismos from a vase in the British Museum104 and made two designs which are near-reproductions: one appeared sketched into the courtyard of Godwin’s design for Lillie Langtry’s house, and the other is in an undated sketchbook.105 Two small tables designed by Godwin have the exaggerated sabre leg that is a feature of the klismos, and the influence of the form can be seen in a design for a washstand in which the curve of the legs is continued up into the towel holders at the sides of the piece in much the same way that the curving stiles of the klismos continue past the seat to form the back rest.106

In decorative design Godwin seems to have been happy to plunder the past for design motifs and to use ideas without reference to the media in which or on which they were originally expressed. A carpet from Holbein, which Godwin had sketched from the Handbook of Painting, became an idea for a wall decoration.107 A Greek floral meander from an archaic Greek jug in the British Museum was used on a design for a toilet set made in about 1876 and reappeared as a diaper in a wall decoration.108 In the same wall decoration, Godwin used a palmette motif from an archaic Greek three-handled jar, which reappeared in 1878 in cast iron on a Shillit and Shorland fireplace in Frank Miles’s studio.109 A design for a frieze of tiles was taken directly from a border in the Arundel Psalter, which also provided a series of diapers and decorative circular motifs that Godwin suggested could be used in the painted decoration of buildings.110

This archaeological kleptomania is mitigated by Godwin’s strong sense of design. Frank Miles’s fireplace is often assumed to be Japanese in inspiration (and is, in composition). The pattern on the left is archaic Greek, and the one on the right appears in a sketchbook as “Indian.”111 Two “scraps” and a compositional idea have been welded together into a coherent, harmonious, original design.

This fireplace also demonstrates the wide range of Godwin’s knowledge. In 1878 he dispensed the following advice to architects: “Be archaeologists— … know all about the past; study Greek, Gothic, Renaissance, the Roman and later developments, study it in all its different phases and countries … Study all; take what good [you can] from every country and every age; but work in no particular style.”112 The ambition to “study all” inevitably compromised the depth of Godwin’s antiquarian studies and collided with one of his characteristics as an antiquary, that is, the impulse to categorize, catalogue, and organize. This had shown itself during Godwin’s pupilage, when he had compiled endless comprehensive lists of antiquarian information. In the 1850s, rather than merely reading Spenser, he had “read and re-read, indexed and annotated” the book in company with an old schoolfellow.113 His instinct was to be comprehensive.

Depth and range are difficult to achieve together. Godwin’s published oeuvre as an antiquary is mostly journalistic, and in this, he did achieve range. His articles on Shakespeare’s plays alone required him to have a working knowledge of the architecture and costume of a large number of different periods in different countries. His surviving papers, however, also contain the bones of a number of failed, overambitious books: one on armor (which included every example of Greek armor depicted in the vase rooms of the British Museum); another on Irish Antiquities; another, which consisted of a “catalogue of all the illuminated MSS in the Brit. Mus. annotated and illustrated by me.”114

There was also a book on his earliest antiquarian enthusiasm: historical dress. In 1875 he wrote, “Even with the elaborate Dictionnaire of M. Viollet-le-Duc before me, with Jacquemin’s effective plates, with the splendid work of Hefner, I am inclined to think that the history of costume has yet to be written.”115 However, as a writer in the Standard pointed out in 1882, this work would require “not only a certain historical faculty, but a knowledge also of the outlines of history and of the details of dress in every country throughout the world.”116

This was too great a task for one man, and Godwin’s 1884 publication, Dress and its Relation to Health and Climate, although it was wide-ranging lacked sufficient depth to be the book. The Standard further declared costume to be a study “which, unlike most others, can be followed more advantageously by a Society than by a single individual.”117 In 1882 Godwin founded the Costume Society, which held its first meeting in his chambers in July. From the start its aim was publication, and at the initial gathering Godwin was asked to get estimates for lithographic printing of 2,000 copies of a sample illustration.118

There was no shortage of published illustrations of costume already available, but Godwin complained of the “incomplete and disjointed condition of things.”119 There were isolated drawings in publications such as Archaeologia and the Archaeological Journal, and in books on armor, on ecclesiastical costume and monumental effigies, and on classical and medieval dress. The many sources of information were too widely scattered to be helpful to the occasional users such as painters, sculptors, theatrical managers, or actors looking for information about how to create a historically accurate costume. One aim of the society, therefore, was to circumvent the confusion by gathering examples in one place and acting as an advisory body. For a small fee, an inquirer would “receive with out unnecessary delay a coloured drawing showing him precisely what he wished to know.”120

Another problem at the time was that the published works available were riddled with mistakes. In 1880 Godwin listed “some of the grosser errors” in the English edition of Lacroix’s book on costume which was “we are sorry to say, in the hands of a large number of students.”121 In 1875 he had reviewed the first volume of J. R. Planché’s Cyclopaedia of Costume, which was “marred by woodcuts which are bad as woodcuts, bad as drawings, and bad as illustration of the subject.”122 Planché had ignored “the three great, real, trustworthy sources for the illustration of costume, viz., sculpture, painting, and MS. drawings” and had used large numbers of woodcuts taken from copies.123 The Costume Society’s published drawings were all to be taken from original sources, and their fidelity to the originals was to be directly and personally verified by expert members of the society.

The research was intended to be useful. The Standard pointed out that “painters and designers of costumes for the stage are the two classes of artists who should derive most advantage from the labours of the new Association.”124 Godwin had previously attacked both groups. In his theatrical criticism he had devoted as much energy to denouncing historically inaccurate costume and mise-en-scène as to discussing the acting. In 1875 several painters exhibiting at the Royal Academy had come in for some vitriolic criticism on the subject of their depiction of dress, which Godwin considered to be “travestied … vulgarised … [and] ludicrous.”125 To be truly useful to painters, sculptors, actors, and managers, the Costume Society had to be both accurate and comprehensive.

It was an enormously ambitious project, even for a group that would eventually include some three hundred members and subscribers.126 This was nothing less than an attempt to “further a complete and scientific knowledge of historic costume.”127 The list of members and subscribers of 1883 reads like a Who’s Who of the British artistic, theatrical, and museum worlds, and included distinguished honorary foreign members and a number of institutions.

At the first general meeting of the society, Godwin had argued that “we should be careful to remember that we are a scientific society for the purpose of research and teaching, and not for the purpose of issuing pretty pictures.”128 There are hundreds of drawings of costume among Godwin’s papers that testify to this aim, including the published plates, which are signed by the copyist and certified by another member.129 Usually these signatures were those of Godwin, E. Maunde Thompson (Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum), and Burges’s friend the Baron de Cosson, whose particular interest was armor.

The costumes are depicted in outline, without shading, and the lines are often much clearer and cleaner than those of the original sources. In a painting in the illuminated manuscript called Arundel 38, for example, a strip of ermine that conceals the fastenings at King Henry V’s neck was painted over by the original illuminator whereas the Costume Society drawing shows the trimming—the correct mode of dress—and erases the visible error made in the original.130 In the plates still at the proof stage, the concern for accuracy shows itself in corrections made to the drawings: the border of the mantle of a figure from the Tiberius manuscript has been annotated “to be made more accurate.”131 A drawing of Saint Sebastian, from Carlo Crivelli’s Madonna della Rondine altarpiece in the National Gallery, is marked for slight alterations to be made to the buttons on the collar.132 Most interesting of all is a drawing of two figures on tracing paper, which shows the Costume Society at work. It is covered with annotations by Godwin and the painters Henry Woods and Luke Fildes: “?what is here on the belt / an open buckle with tongue / can this ornament be made out? / pearls I think HW / Where do these taps and points come from? / Impossible to say. I believe they come through sleeve.”133 Most of the questions are in Godwin’s handwriting.

The society published only one volume, The Costume Society, which was published in 1883, although plates were prepared for a second volume. The publication was flawed in several ways: it was almost exclusively medieval; there were too few depictions of female dress; and, as Baron de Cosson pointed out, the drawings were “to my mind too Archaeological and not sufficiently artistic.”134 The baron reminded Godwin that there were many subscribers who took part in the society simply “to look at the plates, rather than to make use of them.”135 There were too few subscribers and consequently too little money. The last dated meeting of the office holders of the society was held in July 1884. A meeting was called for August, but it seems that by then the society had collapsed.

It may have been in response to Godwin’s work with the Costume Society that Arthur Lasenby Liberty decided to employ him as a consultant to Liberty’s newly opened costume department. The text of the department’s advertising material might have come straight from Godwin’s book, Dress and Its Relation to Health and Climate, stating that the craft of dressmaking should be established upon some hygienic, intelligible and progressive basis.”136 In addition the department was set up “for the study and execution of costumes embracing all periods, together with such modifications of really beautiful examples as may be adapted to the conventionalities of modern life without rendering them eccentric or bizarre”137 One of these costumes, which appears in Liberty’s 1893 catalogue as “Norman 12th Century,”138 is based on a design by Godwin.139 This is taken from a statue Godwin had sketched at Chartres, with additions from other sources. The bodice came from a statue of Queen Clothilde, which was situated over the door of Notre Dame de Corbeil. The decorated border at the neck was taken from a textile found at a tomb at Notre Dame in Paris. The girdle belt was from an example illustrated in Viollet-le-Duc’s Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier Français. Although this sketch design survives among Godwin’s collection of Costume Society drawings, it does not properly belong there among the accurate perfect1y transcribed copies of images of historical dress but relates more closely to Godwin’s work as a theatrical designer and consultant.

If the Costume Society demonstrates the science of archaeology, Godwin’s work for the theater demonstrates the art. In 1885 in an article in the Dramatic Review, Godwin wrote that the purpose of the archaeologist was “to make history a reality” but added that “the stage demands of the antiquary something more than this. Stage pictures of the past times should be treated … as life itself is treated by the dramatist. The archaeologist, in a word, must be an artist.”140

In 1874 and 1875, Godwin published his most extensive work of theatrical archaeology: a series of articles in the Architect entitled “The Architecture and Costume of Shakespere’s [sic] Plays” in which he attempted to “fix” the time of each play and discussed the appropriate historical sources for staging and costume. Above all, in this series of articles Godwin argued that productions should be designed rather than just researched: “the mere archaeologist is not all that is wanted. There must be joined to the antiquarian knowledge more or less of the architects’ skill in composition or design; for although every detail of a scene may by itself be correct, it may so happen that in the aggregate the individual bits of even careful archaeological research may be dominated by the absurdity of the general construction.”141

In his articles on Shakespeare’s plays Godwin did not confine himself to discussing the static visual mise-en-scène, but also commented on matters that touched on the acting and directing. For instance he claimed that the manners of the period of The Merchant of Venice “were characterised by courtesy combined with a stately dignified action, and that what we call stiffness of manner was then regarded as quite correct,” adding that “correctness of costume, and scenery, and properties, and furniture is all very well, but if, through it all, we see nineteenth-century action, modern style, … then the picture must be discordant, and the dramatic representation woefully incomplete.”142

Archaeology, then, was merely a foundation for theatrical art, and the aim of the art was what Godwin called “the illusion I long to witness.”143 By this he meant a production with costume, scenery, and properties all historically accurate and in harmony with each other, and the actors’ gestures, bearing, speech, and stage business so natural and unstagy in the historical context that the illusion of reality was perfect. Occasionally he could glimpse isolated parts of this illusion in the contemporary theater. Of a production of Macbeth at Sadler’s Wells theater, he wrote: “The costumes here and there were strangely true; one waiting woman might have walked out of the pages of Cleopatra C.viii, or Claudius B.iv.”144 What Godwin wanted to see in the theater was history, living and breathing.

What Godwin lacked, however, was control of the production. Much of his design work for the theater consisted of costumes for individual actors and actresses, where a single point of archaeological accuracy was all he could hope to achieve. The harmony of the whole was beyond his control. In these circumstances there was no concern to make the costumes “so natural as to be unobtrusive,”145 even though he had insisted on this point in his Shakespeare articles. In 1875, for instance, he designed a costume for Ellen Terry to wear as Juliet. In a letter to her describing the design, he wrote, “I have made the thing as swell as possible too swell perhaps for history’s sake.”146 Godwin’s careful listing and quoting of sources in his Shakespeare articles leaves the impression that his costumes were largely reproductions of the illustrations in these sources, but his detailed description of Juliet’s clothing for the ball scene shows him creating a costume. The headdress, for instance, was to consist of a gold band with white daisies at intervals, over a caul made of pearls and gold cord.147 The band of daisies was an idea taken from an illuminated manuscript in the British Museum.148 In the original, however, the band was a ribbon with small red roses at intervals. The caul is a more elaborate version of one depicted in a different illumination in the same manuscript.149 The two originals had been altered and combined by Godwin to form a new design.

Godwin’s ambition to create the illusion of living history on the stage was hampered by his relative powerlessness as a consultant archaeologist. The programs for John Coleman’s production of Henry V at the Queen’s Theatre in 1876 credited Godwin with the “superintendence” of the archaeology of the play, but in a letter to Coleman dated September 2, Godwin listed a number of mistakes made by Coleman which “outrage not merely history but common sense.”150 These had not been corrected by the first performance, and Burges’s subsequent cannonade in the Architect criticizing the archaeological errors in the piece,151 which is usually considered a tongue-in-cheek dig at Godwin,152 was most likely set up by Burges and Godwin together in order to give Godwin a chance publicly to disclaim responsibility for most of the mistakes. Godwin’s letter to Coleman demonstrates how little he was able to exert any authority as a mere “superintendent” of the archaeology. He even felt he ha d to apologize for sending a list of suggested changes, writing: “I wish to avoid as much as possible even the show of interference.”153

That this changed in the 1880s was due partly to Godwin’s increasing reputation as a theatrical “authority.” In 1885 Godwin recounted how, many years earlier, he had to threaten the leading actress in an unnamed production, telling her that “my name is published as responsible for the historical accuracy of the representation, and if there is anything on the stage opposed to my designs, I shall not hesitate to say so in print.”154 Godwin’s situation in 1885 was quite different: “Now-a-days … I do not threaten to write to the papers. My work is known fairly well by this time.”155 Even so, Godwin often did have recourse to the press. It was a brave actor or actress who asked him for advice and then ignored it. An anonymous review in the British Architect probably written by Godwin discusses the costumes of Romeo and Juliet worn by Mr. R. B. Mantel and Miss Wallis. The reviewer praises the former, who had worn his Godwin-designed costume, and pokes fun at the latter, who had not worn hers.156 Godwin was equally capable of praising or condemning the theatrical managers who controlled the visual ensemble of productions, and this ability tended to reinforce his archaeological suggestions. The general climate was also changing: the 1880s and 1890s were the apogee of “archaeological realism” in the theater, with contributions from Lord Leighton, Professor Warr, Henry Irving at the Lyceum, and Wilson Barrett at the Princess’s Theatre.157 Barrett and Godwin collaborated in 1883 on the archaeological tour-de-force, Claudian. Unlike Coleman, who had made a fiasco of Godwin’s “superintendence” of Henry V, Barrett allowed Godwin to have considerable control over the archaeology of the production.

Godwin wrote an account of his researches for Claudian in the form of an open letter to Barrett, which was published in the British Architect and in pamphlet form.158 His main problem was his reliance on secondary sources. Although Barrett was to fund Godwin’s trip to Denmark to research the costumes for a production of Hamlet in 1884, a journey to Istanbul was clearly out of the question. “I wanted to go to Byzantium for Claudian,” Godwin said rather wistfully to an interviewer from a contemporary journal, “but that is rather far.”159

Godwin’s methodology with his theatrical research mirrors that of his architectural research. He aimed to find good copies of contemporary illustrations if he was unable to see the originals.160 The most important source of information for costume was found in the reliefs on the pedestal of the obelisk of Theodosius in the Hippodrome at Constantinople. For these he consulted A. Stuart Murray, a friend at the British Museum, who recommended the illustrations of the pedestal in Seroux d’Agincourt’s Histoire de l’Art. Murray wrote, “you will find the engravings much behind what you would like: but I can’t think of any better & have seen much worse. Photographs would not be easily got.”161 A handwritten list of “Authorities”162 documents Godwin’s attempts to overcome the problem of relying on secondary sources and to test his witnesses. He did find a photograph of the obelisk of Theodosius. He duplicated certain work, using several sources for comparison purposes, such as O. Gebhardt’s edition of the Codex Rossanensis for examples of borders, which he compared with borders in the Codex Alexandrium. The British Museum contained Godwin’s most important primary sources of information. In his pamphlet on Claudian, Godwin acknowledged that he had had to use published illustrations but added “where possible to me I have gone to the objects preserved in our museum cases belonging to the period: e.g., swords, spears, shields, axes, personal ornaments of gold, silver, bronze, precious stones, cameos, & c.”163

After the production, a caricaturist rather unfairly satirized the eminent archaeologist and the interfering and ignorant manager, who attempted to alter the “S.P.Q.R.” of the Roman banners to an alphabetical “P.Q.R.S.”164 In fact Barrett seems only to have discarded two of Godwin’s archaeological creations—a litter and a red and purple tunic with appliquéd decoration that Barrett refused to wear, “fearing it to be much too garish.”165 Godwin had adapted the tunic from that of “a little Roman bronze warrior in the British Museum.”166

In his book Resistible Theatres, John Stokes argued that in the face of the power of theatrical managers to ignore the suggestions of their archaeological advisors, Godwin was “obliged to invent a new role for himself, and indeed for the modern theatre: that of ‘producer,’ a man endowed with final artistic control over a whole production, and complete power over the other participants.”167 In the last three years of his life, Godwin succeeded in expanding his role as archaeological superintendent into direction, production, and management. This was a logical step: Godwin’s stated aim in 1875 in his Shakespeare articles had been to combine the archaeologically accurate costume and scenery with the correct historical stage action.168

In his collaborations with Wilson Barrett, Godwin had been able to make directorial suggestions, but ultimate authority still lay with Barrett. In the summer of 1884 Godwin took control of the production, direction, and management of a successful open-air production of the forest scenes of As You Like It, performed by Lady Archibald Campbell’s Pastoral Players in Coombe Wood near Kingston-upon-Thames. Godwin and the Pastoral Players went on to perform adaptations of John Fletcher’s Faithefull Shepherdesse in 1885, and Tennyson’s Fair Rosamund in 1886, the same year that Godwin produced, directed, and managed John Todhunter’s Helena in Troas. Finally, he was in a position to mold whole productions, with only financial considerations to hamper the creation of the perfect illusion.

In these productions, Godwin’s archaeology immediately expanded from the static visual ensemble on stage into stage movement and music. The women of the chorus of Helena in Troas were rehearsed until they could move gracefully and arrange themselves into moving, harmonious pictures. A series of line drawings show the attitudes into which the chorus sank while resting: they are visually striking and some are recognizable poses from Greek sculpture.169 A surviving photograph taken during a performance of The Faithfull Shepherdesse shows the cast paying homage to a statue of Pan.170 Godwin had researched the dances, taking notes from a Roman prose fantasy, The Golden Ass, by Lucius Apuleius. As for music, in 1875 Godwin had argued that “there can be no possible excuse if the characteristic music of the age is omitted when the text or stage business suggests its introduction.171 He wrote to a Mr. Lawson in March 1884 asking him to help with As You Like It. “What we want is not only the songs and music … but hunting horn business played in the real distance & coming nearer … A German Doctor of music has offered, but before he was accepted I suggested you as being the true Archaeological musician of the day.”172

Archaeologically speaking, Helena in Troas was the most ambitious of Godwin’s productions of the 1880s because in it he attempted not only to create a historically correct picture upon the stage but also to draw the whole audience into the illusion by re-creating an entire Greek theater inside Hengler’s Circus in London. In the program Godwin wrote, “My intention has been to give to the story stage surroundings like those which I suppose a play on such a subject may have received at Athens or Corinth in the days of Sophocles.”173 In effect, Godwin added another layer to the audience’s perception of the historical truth of what they saw by placing them inside that truth, in the position of the historical spectators of the drama.

A reviewer in the Morning Post wrote of the stage at Hengler’s Circus that “Mr E. W. Godwin had to rely … rather upon ‘inward consciousness’, aided by scholarly tradition, than upon the testimony of vision, there being no existing example to furnish matter for architectural illustration,”174 but this was not true. The Odeum of Regilla in Athens, the theater of Herodes Atticus at Dramyssus, and the great theater at Epidaurus had all been excavated by 1886. Most importantly, by 1865 the theater of Dionysus had been uncovered on the Athenian Acropolis, and drawings had been published in Germany,175 though not in Britain. Godwin must have been aware of this discovery: Thomas Henry Dyer’s Ancient Athens,176 which was one of Godwin’s sources for his Greek theater, incorporated information from the excavation. One of Godwin’s correspondents wrote that the whole subject of Greek theaters needed to be reviewed in the light of the new information from Athens,177 which tended to cast doubt on Godwin’s other major source of published information, J.W. Donaldson’s Theatre of the Greeks.178 Godwin followed Dyer more closely than Donaldson; for example, his stage was between four and five feet high, as Dyer recommended, rather than twelve feet, as suggested by Donaldson.179

As for the costumes, Godwin wrote to Cecil Smith of the British Museum, asking for information about the theatrical masks worn in Classical Greek theater and about a voice amplifier that he believed must have been used to allow Classical actors to be heard.180 At this point in the planning of the production, Godwin seems to have been intending to stage the play in Greek theatrical costume. Greek actors wore exaggerated, bulky, padded costumes with masks and stiltlike shoes. To costume his own actors in this way would have been correct, but obtrusive, unnatural, and stagy. Some time after March 1886, Godwin stopped looking for authentic Greek theatrical costume an began instead to design dress correct to the daily life of the time of the play’s production, with additional notes taken from the Homeric poems.181 The costumes and masks of the Classical theater abandoned, and in their place Godwin began to create a hybrid: Classical Greek with Homeric accents, close to the spirit of play, which itself a hybrid, but not to the history of the Classical theater, nor to Homer, nor to the time of Troy.

Oscar Wilde wrote of Godwin’s production: “The performance was not intended to be an absolute reproduction of the Greek stage in the fifth century before Christ: it was simply the presentation in Greek form of a poem conceived in the Greek spirit; and the secret of its beauty was the perfect correspondence of form and matter, the delicate equilibrium of spirit and sense.”182 Godwin had created his “perfect illusion I long to witness”; it was not historical, although it had its roots in history. The purpose of archaeology was no longer to fix a play in real time, matching its individual elements of costume, scenery, and behavior to that time, but to discover and realize on stage the “spirit” of an age and to harmonize all the elements with that spirit. The science of archaeology, in other words, had become merely a springboard for the imagination.

This is akin to what Godwin aimed to achieve with his architecture. His theory that the architect should study the principles rather than copy the forms of old buildings often fell down in practice. Nevertheless, the coherent thread that runs through his career is of design being inspired by but transcending the scientific study of the past. The “spirit” of an age was not ultimately recoverable through facts, but through the imagination, and if that spirit was often expressed in Godwin’s designs in the idiom of archaeology, it was also original.

A year before his death Godwin wrote, “the Archaeologist or Antiquary … is something more than a frequenter of museums and a patron of pigeon-holes. His method or mental attitude is of special significance, and you can no more make him off hand than you can make an artist: indeed he must have some of the artist’s qualities, or, at least, be able to truly imagine in his mind’s eye the features of the past and interpret its records and memorials.”183

Note: Most published sources are cited below in shorted form (author’s last name, abbreviated title, date of publication); full references will be found in the bibliography. Frequently cited archives are abbreviated; for a key to the abbreviations, also see the bibliography.

I would like to thank Fanny Baldwin and Aileen Reid for information about Godwin’s theatrical and architectural activities; and Susan Weber Soros, Aileen Reid, Robert Arbuthnott, and Owen Wheatley for reading and commenting on the draft of this essay.

© Bard Graduate Center, Catherine Arbuthnott.

1.Godwin, “Taunton Tower” (21 August 1858): 572.

2.See Pevsner, Some Architectural Writers (1972).

3.Godwin, “Archaeology on the Stage,” part I (8 February 1885): 19.

4.Godwin, “Old English or Saxon Building,” parts 1-4 (14-28 August 1875).

5.Godwin, “Archaeology on the Stage,” part I (8 February 1885): 19.

6.Godwin, “On Some Buildings I have Designed” (29 November 1878): 210.

7.V & A PD, E.267-1963, insert.

8.For a description of his early interest in the history of costume, see Godwin, “Cyclopaedia of Costume” (16 October 1875): 208.

9.“Mr. E.W. Godwin on Architecture And Somerset Churches” [ca. 1864], lecture by Godwin to the Bristol Society of Architects, V & A AAD, 4/560-1988: cuttings book [cutting probably from The Western Daily Press].

10.See, for example, V & A AAD, 4/10-1980, p. 75, ledger.

11.Godwin, “On Some Buildings I have Designed” (29 November 1878): 210.

12.“I remember when I was a pupil at Bristol, that two of my contemporaries … were always sorely troubled when summoned by the master to accompany him in a measuring expedition” (Godwin, “British Architect Art Club” [19 January 1883]: 32. Godwin may have been a little unfair in his characterization of Armstrong: the prospective of Godwin and Hine’s Architectural Antiquities of Bristol and Its Neighbourhood was issued from Armstrong’s office in Bristol. Armstrong subscribed to the publication, and Godwin also acknowledged Armstrong’s help in an article on the Priory of the Dominicans. (I am grateful to Aileen Reid for this information. CA)

13.“Mr E.W. Godwin on Architecture And Somerset Churches” in V & A AAD, 4/560-1988.

14.Godwin, “To Our Student Readers,” part 2 (13 August 1880): 70.

15.lbid. The books Godwin lists are: Parker, Glossary of Terms used in … Architecture (1836); Bloxham, Principles of Gothic Architecture (1829), Thomas Rickman, Attempt to discriminate the styles of architecture in England (1817 and 1848); and Barr, Anglican Church Architecture (1842).

16.[Godwin], Notes on Current Events, “Mr Stone …” (9 April 1880): 169.

17.Bristol Society of Architects, “First Annual Report, for the year ending May 1851,” Bristol Society of Architect Archives. The Civil Engineer and Architect’s Journal was not exclusively practical, bit its title does betray its priorities.

18.Letter from Godwin to R. M. Bryant, dated 15 December 1871, V & A AAD, 4/21-1988:197-98.

19.For a list of these purchases, see V & A PD, E.225-1963: 10.

20.Rickman, Attempt to discriminate the styles of architecture in England (1817 and 1848), A. C. Pugin, Specimens of Gothic Architecture (1821-23); Britton, Historical and descriptive accounts … of English Catherdrals, vol. 4 (1836); ibid., vol. 5.

21.Godwin, “Gothic Revival” (2 December 1871): 271.

22.Godwin, “On Some Buildings I Have Designed” (29 November 1878): 211.

23.Nesfield, Specimens of Mediaeval Architecture (1862). Godwin knew and approved of the book as he awarded it as a prize for Architectural Drawing to a student member of the Bristol Society of Architects in 1864 (minute book entry dated 4 May 1864, Bristol Society of Architects). Burges sketches were eventually published in 1870 ([Burges], Architectural Drawings), but his visits to France and Italy had taken place in the 1850s and 1860s. Godwin would have seen the unpublished drawings before 1870.

24.Godwin, “Painted Decoration” (3 August 1866): 507; Mandelgren, Monuments scandinaves (1862). Burges owned a copy of the book.

25.Godwin, “Photographs of the Architectural Photographic Association,” part I (22 February 1867): 147-48; part 2 (1 March 1867): 164-66.

26.V & A TA, Godwin collection, box I. Godwin used a photograph of the reliefs on the pedestal of the obelisk of Theodosius in the Hippodrome at Constantinople. This photograph is an item on the list of “authorities” for Claudian, handwritten inside Godwin’s copy of his privately printed pamphlet, Godwin, “A Few Notes on … Claudian” (1883).

27.Godwin wrote, “There was once a little cross church in Somersetshire of great interest to us. We sketched it, and measured it, and photographed it till one fine day passing by we found it had been ‘restored’” [Godwin], Notes On Current Events ([21 May 1880]: 241) G. E. Street was the culprit who had “restored” it, but the church is unidentified. Compare Burges on photography—“Measure much, sketch little and above all, keep your fingers out of chemicals”—quoted in Crook, William Burges (1981): 67.

28.Godwin, “To Our Student Readers” part 2 (13 August 1880): 70.

29.RIBA Mss, GoE 6/5/1 (G/Sax/l).

30.V & A PD, E.267-1963, inserted page at the front of the sketchbook.

31.V & A PD, E.225-1963, n.p.

32.V & A AAD, 4/538-1988.

33.V & A PD,E.225-1963, pp. 105, 107. Godwin had not seen the original manuscript, in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, until some time after 1857, at which time he wrongly assumed the original to be in the British Museum (See Godwin, “Antiquarian Notes and Queries” [April 1857]: 157-58). Wyrcestre (ca. 1415-ca. 1491) was a Bristol burgess, who surveyed the town, measuring it in paces and published his notes and measurements. [William de Wyrcestre], Itineraria Simonis Simeonis et Willelmi de Worcestre Quibus accedit Tractatus de Metro, in quo traduntur regulae, a scriptoribus medii aevi in versibus Leoninis observatae MSS … , ed J. Nasmith (Cambridge, 1778).

34.RIBA Mss, GoE/7/3/1. Rev. John Louis Petit (1801-1868) was an architectural writer and artist, as well as clergyman.

35.RIBA Mss, GoE/3/6/25 (G/Bri.5.i-ii).

36.V & A PD, E.227-1963. This sketchbook contains Godwin’s journal of the holiday in Cornwall with James Hine.

37.RIBA Mss, GoE/3/5/1 (G/Bri.I).

38.Godwin and Hine were joined in this venture by W.C. Burder, who engraved the plates and provided two of the drawings.

39.Godwin identifies this manuscript only as “Ms. Hobson.” (I have been unable to locate it.)

40.John Evans, Chronologica Outline of the History of Bristol (Bristol, 1824).

41.RIBA Mss, GoE/3/6/24 (G/Bri.7.i).

42.Godwin, “Ancient Coffin Slab” (December 1853): 182-83. For the other seven articles published in the Archaeological Journal see the Bibliography. Godwin also wrote several articles for the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Magazine.

43.“Proceedings of Meetings at the Archaeological Institute” (1851): 322-40.

44.Godwin, “Ancient Coffin Slab” (December 1853): 182-83.

45.Draft letter from Godwin to Princess Louise, n.d., V & A AAD, 4/190-1988.

46.See Reid, “Dromore Castle” (1987): 135.

47.For Godwin’s sketches of Oxford buildings, see V & A PD, E.225-1963. Robert Willis’s lecture is reported in “Proceedings of Meetings at the Archaeological Institute,” (1850): 315.

48.Godwin, “Architectural Description and history of Saint Peter’s Church Colerne Wilts,” RIBA Mss GoE/4/4/4, p. xi, footnote (G/Wil.2/4).

49.Godwin, “Sir George Gilbert Scott” (5 April 1878): 155.

50.“Professor Willis” (6 March 1875): 134-35.


52.Godwin, “A Few Words to Architectural Students” (1 February 1878): 51.

53.Godwin, “Architectural Description and history of Saint Peter’s Church Colerne Wilts,” RIBA Mss, GoE/4/4/4.

54.Godwin, “An Account of the Church of St. John the Baptist, Colerne” (1857): 358-66.



57.The excursions of the society and the lectures of Godwin and others were extensively reported in the Western Daily Press, a Bristol newspaper. Cuttings from the paper are pasted into the minute book of the Bristol Society of Architects.

58.Godwin, “Bristol Cathedral” (March 1863): 38-63. This paper was first read in October 1862 at a meeting of the Bristol Society of Architects.

59.“An Antiquarian Tramp through Old Bristo” Western Daily Press (10 September 1864): 4.

60.Godwin, “Old English or Saxon Building,” parts 1-4 (14-18 August 1875).

61.James Fergusson (1801-1886) was an R.I.B.A. gold medallist (1871) and the author of A History of Architecture in all Countries from th Earliest Times to the Present Day (1865-67).

62.“Saxon Architecture” (4 September 1875): 996.

63.For example, Parker (quoted in ibid.) had reproduced a page of the manuscript Claud. B.4 in his Domestic Architecture in England and had noted that “there is considerable doubt whether the representations in Anglo-Saxon Mss. Can be relied on; also whether they are intended to represent stone buildings or wooden structures with metal ornaments.”



66.Godwin, “Geoffrey Chaucer as Clerk of the King’s Works,” part I (4 November 1871): 233-34.

67.Godwin, “Spenser’s Castles,” part I (27 January 1872): 41-42; part 2 (3 February 1872): 54-55; Godwin, “Kilcolman” (17 August 1872): 91-92 and illus.

68.Godwin, “Greek Home According to Homer” (June 1886): 914-22. For Godwin’s handwritten draft of this article, see RIBA Mss, GoE/5/1/ 1-3.

69.Letter from Godwin to J. H. Pollen, n.d., V & A AAD, 4/447-1988.

70.Godwin, “Architecture and Costume of Shakespere’s [sic] Plays: The Greek Plays” (8 May 1875): 271.

71.For a report of an extraordinary meeting for the purpose of presenting Schliemann with a diploma of election as an honorary member, see “Societies: Royal Institute of British Architects,” British Architect 7 (4 May 1877): 272.

72.Schliemann’s colleague Wilhelm Dörpfeld gave an account of the excavations of 1883-84 on the Acropolis of Tiryns that also tended to cast doubt on Homer, but Godwin dismissed Tiryns as “thoroughly Eastern,” being unable to match the ground plan of the complex there with anything he had found in the Iliad or Odyssey (Godwin, “Greek Home According to Homer” [June 1886]: 922). Godwin’s notes on Tiryns are in RIBA Mss, GoE/5/2 (G/GR.2/18/I). His skepticism about Schliemann is also obvious in one of his sketches of Greek armor, which is annotated: “one of a row of figs on fragment of Pottery found by Dr Schliemann at Mycenae Don’t believe in it. EWG. July/83.”

73.Godwin, “Spenser’s Castles,” part I (27 January 1872): 41-42; part 2 (3 February 1872): 54-55.

74.Godwin, “Kilcolman” (17 August 1872): 91-92 and illus. Several of Godwin’s sketches of Kilcolman Castle are in RIBA Mss, GoE/6/I.

75.“Mr E.W. Godwin on Architecture And Somerset Churches,” V & A, AAD 4/560-1988.

76.“Professor Willis” (6 March 1875): 134-35.

77.E.W. Godwin, “Notes on Architectural Design Illustrated by Gloster [sic] Cathedral,” undated cutting from the Western Daily Press, minute book of the Bristol Society of Architects for 1864.



80.See Pevsner, Some Architectural Writers (1972).

81.Godwin, “Gothic Revival” (2 December 1871): 272.

82.For Godwin’s design for the gatehouse, see RIBA Mss, GoE/4/6 (G/Ir.3/2/8); for Godwin’s sketch of Kilmacleurine Castle, see RIBA Mss, GoE/4/6 (G/Ir.3/2/3/2).

83.M. W. Brooks, John Ruskin (1987): 207. For the illustration of the archivolt on the Duomo of Murano, see Ruskin, Stones of Venice, vol. 2 (1853), pl. 5.

84.[Godwin], “Mr E.W. Godwin’s Measured Sketches” (29 May 1874): 584 and illus. [595].

85.I am grateful to Aileen Reid for this information.

86.Godwin, “Home of an English Architect,” part 1 (June 1886): 172.

87.V & A PD, E.268-1963.

88.V & A PD, E.270-1963, p. 17.

89.V & A PD, E.270-1963, p. 6, “After MS.Reg.15.E.iv.”

90.Godwin, “Modern Architects and Their Works” part 6 (11 October 1872): 291.

91.Letter from E.W. Godwin to Lady Alwyne Compton, dated 20 September 1867 (Compton Family Documents, Castle Ashby).

92.Lady Alwyne Compton’s memorandum book: 85 (Compton Family Documents, Castle Ashby) .

93.Godwin, “On Some Buildings I Have Designed” (29 Nove mber 1878): 211.

94.Godwin, “Studios and Mouldings” (7 March 1879): 261.

95.Godwin, “Notes on Architectural Design Illustrated by Gloster [sic] Cathedral” (see n. 77 above).

96.Godwin, “Studio s and Mouldings” (7 March 1879): 261.


98.Godwin’s acceptance papers for the Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, dated 12 May 1851, RIBA Mss, GoE/7/7/I.

99.[Godwin], “Furniture” (15 June 1872): 1-2 .

100.Public Record Office, Board of Trade Records BT 43/58, registered design no. 372557.

101.A number of more or less spurious examples of “Shakespeare” furniture were known in the nineteenth century. Until 1893 four oak chairs and part of a fifth from Shakespeare’s birthplace were in the possession of the Hornby family in Stratford on Avon. Another supposed Shakespeare chair had been removed to Poland in 1790 by Princess Isabel Czartoryska, and another was exhibited at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 and subsequently bought by George Godwin, the editor of the Builder. (I am grateful to Ann Donnelly, curator of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, for this information.)

102.Notes on Current Events, “The exhibition of furniture … ” (22 February 1884): 86.

103.[Godwin], “Jacobean Oak Sideboard” (15 May 1885): 766 and illus. [785].

104.RIBA Mss, GoE/5/2 (G.Gr /2/26/5).

105.For Godwin’s 1882 designs for Langtry’s house, see V & A AAD, 4/170-1988. For the undated sketchbook, see V & A PD, E.229-1963, p. 109.

106.For the two small tables, see V & A PD, E.233-1963, p. 31. For the washstand, see V & A PD, E.233-1963, p. 35.

107.For Godwin’s design for the wall decoration, see V & A PD, E.241-1963, p. 163; for Godwin’s sketch of the carpet from the Burgomaster Meyer’s Votive Picture, by Holbein, see V & A PD, E.229-1963, p. 61. The illustration Godwin used came from the Handbook of Painting: The German, Flemish, and Dutch Schools. …, part I (1860): 192.

108.For Godwin’s sketch of the jug, see V & A PD, E.473-1963, verso. The jug is an East Greek oinochoe, of ca. 600-550 B.C., in the British Museum (Blacas Collection, GR.1867.5-8.925). For Godwin’s design for the toilet set, see V & A PD, E.233- 1963, p. 27.

109.The jug is in the British Museum (GR.1870.10-8.121 [A831]).

110.For Godwin’s design for a frieze of tiles, see V & A PD, E.377-1963. For the sketches made by Godwin in 1866 from the Arundel Psalter, see V & A PD, E.285-1963, p. 9. For Godwin’s suggestions for diapers and “powderings,” see Godwin, “Painted Decoration,” part 10 (19 July 1867): 491, and part II (18 October 1867): 716.

111.V & A PD, E.241-1963: 23.

112.Godwin, “On Some Buildings I have Designed” (29 November 1878): 211.

113.Godwin, “To Our Student Readers,” part 2 (13 August 1880): 70.

114.For the book and sketches on armor, see RIBA Mss, GoE/5/2 (G/Gr.2/J9-20). The book on Irish antiquities was to be illustrated with a vast number of sketches, some of which were published in the British Architect (1880-81), with the editor commenting that it was a “store … we are not likely to be able to exhaust” (Notes on Current Events,

“Three Irish Crosses” [26 November 1880]: 228). Godwin’s draft manuscript, notes, and some of the sketches are in RIBA GoE/4/6/1-9. For the catalogue, see letter from Godwin to W. C. Angus, dated 13 August 1884, V & A TA, Godwin collection box 3.

115.Godwin, “Cyclopaedia of Costume” (16 October 1875): 208; Viollet-le-Duc, Dictionnaire raisonné (1858-75); Hefner-Alteneck, Trachten des christlichen Mittelalters, 3 vols. (1840-54).

116.“Persons of taste …” (28 September 1882): 5.


118.Minutes of the Costume Society (27 July 1882), V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.

119.Minutes of the Costume Society (28 October 1882), V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.

120.“Persons of taste … ” (28 September 1882): 5.

121.[Godwin], “Notes On Current Events” (16 April 1880): 183; also, Godwin, “Theatrical Jottings: Shakspere [sic] at the Imperial” (19 March 1880): 134; Paul Lacroix, Manners Customs and Dress during the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance period (London: Chapman and Hall, 1874).

122.Godwin, “Cyclopaedia of Costume” (16 October 1875): 208; Planché, Cyclopaedia of costume (1875 and 1879).

123.Godwin, “Cyclopaedia of Costume” (16 October 1875): 208.

124.“Persons of taste …” (28 September 1882): 5.

125.Godwin, “Notes on the Costume in the Pictures at the Royal Academy” (29 May 1875): 314-15.

126.The society at first had some difficulty, however, in attracting subscribers. See V & A PD, E.263-1963, pp. 27-30.

127.Minutes of the Costume Society (28 October 1882), V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.


129.These are in V & A TA, Godwin collection, boxes 3 and 4.

130.Arundel 38 is the manuscript of Thomas Hoccleve’s poem “De Regimine Principium” written ca. 1411-12. The only illumination in it is on p. 37 and represents Hoccleve (or possibly Chaucer) presenting a poem to King Henry V. For the Costume Society drawing, see V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 4.

131.V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.

132.Ibid. Crivelli’s altarpiece, Madonna della Rondine (ca. 1490), was formerly in the Church of the Franciscans at Matelica and is now in the National Gallery, London (no. 724).

133.V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 4.

134.Letter from the Baron de Cosson to Godwin, dated 15 July 1883, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.


136.Adburgham, Liberty’s (1975): 52.


138.Liberty’s, Fancy Dress (1893), no. 7 (Liberty Archives 788/44/ 3).

139.V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.

140.Godwin, “Archaeology on the Stage” part I (8 February 1885): 19.

141.Godwin, “Architecture and Costume of Shakespere’s [sic] Plays: Richard III” (13 February 1875): 88.

142.Ibid.: “The Merchant of Venice” (3 April 1875): 197.

143.Godwin, “Theatrical Jottings, No. XIII” (15 October 1880): 176. Godwin is praising the acting—though not the costume—of Madame Modjeska in Mary Stuart, Lewis Wingfield’s adaptation of Schiller’s play.

144.Godwin, “Theatrical Jottings, No. V: Shakspere [sic] at Sadler’s Wells” (26 March 1880): 145.

145.Godwin, “Architecture and Costume of … ‘Twelfth Night’” (April 24 1875): 241.

146.Letter from E.W. Godwin to Ellen Terry, n.d., but a companion letter referring to the same costume is dated 24 July 1875 (Terry Museum).

147.Page dated 8 July 1875, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 3.

148.British Library, Mss. 15.D.ii, p. 122.

149.Ibid., p. 181.

150.Draft letter and memo from E. W. Godwin to John Coleman, dated 2 September 1876, V & A TA , Godwin collection, box 7.

151.Burges, “‘Henry V’ at the Queen’s Theatre” (23 September 1876): 188; Burges,
“Archaeology on the Stage,” part I (14 October 1876): 224-25; part 2 (21 October 1876): 238-40.

152.For example, Harbron, Conscious Stone (1949): 111-12; Stokes, Resistible Theatres (1972): 40.

153.Draft letter and memo dated 2 September 1876, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 7.

154.Godwin, “Archaeology on the Stage,” part 6 (10 October 1885): 92-93.


156.[Godwin], Notes on Current Events, “Mr R. B. Mantel …” (1 July 1881): 330.

157.See chap. 12 in this volume.

158.Godwin, “A Few Notes on … ‘Claudian’” (7 December 1883): 267-70. The pamphlet was privately printed in 1883. There is a copy in the British Library and another, annotated with a handwritten list of “Authorities,” in V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 1.

159.“‘Hamlet’ at the Princess’s: An Interview with Mr E. W. Godwin” (October 16, 1884): 312.

160.For the costumes of Claudian he used illustrations of the consular diptychs which he had found in Antonio Francese Gori, Thesaurian Veterium Diptichorum (Florence, 1759); for images of the disc of Theodosius I he used Antonio Delgado, Memoria Histórico (Madrid, 1849). Godwin consulted both books at the British Library on 24 September 1883 and kept his library slips (V & A AAD, 4/24-25-1988). He annotated the Delgado slip: “Very Beautiful large outline plates of the silver disc of Theodosius.”

161.Letter from A. S. Murray to Godwin, dated 14 September 1883,V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 1. For Louis-Georges Seroux d’Agincourt’s Histoire de l’Art, Murray recommended the German edition (n.d.) edited by Mast, pl. 10. (I have not been able to find a copy of this edition.)

162.Handwritten list of “Authorities” for Claudian, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 1.

163.Godwin, “A Few Notes on … ‘Claudian’” (7 December 1883): 267-70.

164.Unidentified undated cutting possibly from Punch (V & A TA, Godwin collection, box l).

165.Godwin, “A Few Notes on … ‘Claudian’” (7 Dec ember 1883): 267-70. Instead Barrett wore a simple, off-white tunic with a loosely draped white cloak and plain metal wrist bands. Barrett was photographed in this costume (Theatre Museum, Production Box, Claudian”).

166.The “little bronze warrior” was referred to by Godwin in “A Few Notes on … ‘Claudian’” (7 December 1883): 267-70.

167.Stokes, Resistible Theatres (1972): 40.

168.Godwin, “Architecture and Costume of … Merchant of Venice” (3April 1875): 197.

169.These drawings, tentatively ascribed to Edward Gordon Craig, are in the Ellen Terry

Memorial Museum.

170.V & A TA Godwin collection, box 5.

171.Godwin, “Architecture and Costume of … Merchant of Venice” (3 April 1875): 197.

172.Letter from Godwin to Mr Lawson, dated 18 April 1884, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 6.

173.Printed leaflet advertising the performances of Helena in Troas 1886, V & ATA, Godwin collection, box 8, p. 3.

174.“Helena in Troas” (18 May 1886): 5.

175.Souder, “E. W. Godwin and the Visual Theatre” (1976): 109. (There is a copy in the Theatre Museum, Covent Garden, London. I am indebted to Alvin Souder’s thesis for much of the information in this section on Godwin’s production of Helena in Troas.)

176.Thomas Henry Dyer, Ancient Athens (London: Bell and Daldy, 1873).

177.Letter from a correspondent from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge [illegible signature] to Godwin, dated 20 October 1885, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 6.

178.J.W. Donaldson, The Theatre of the Greeks: A Treatise on the History and

Exhibition of Greek Drama, 7th ed. (London. G. Bell and Sons, 1860).

179.Souder, “E. W. Godwin and the Visual Theatre,” p. 112.

180.“I have looked through all the authorities I know upon the Greek Stage arrangements and cannot find any trace of the voice strengthener of which you speak” (letter from Cecil Smith to Godwin, dated 2 March 1886, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 6).

181.Godwin’s notes from the Homeric poems, sketched costume designs, and color notes are in an exercise book, V & A TA, Godwin collection, box 8.

182.W. C. K. Wilde, “Helena in Troas” (22 May 1886): 161-62.

183.Godwin, “Archaeology on the Stage,” part 7 (24 October 1885): 113.