“The most sensible book and the most exempt from prejudice that ever was written in that science.” — Horace Walpole.
Born in Stockholm to Scottish parents, taken to London at the age of two and then on to India, William Chambers (1723–96) later studied architecture in Italy and France before finally settling in London. There he gained royal favor as the tutor in architecture of the Prince of Wales (later George III), which proved to be a definite asset throughout his career.
His Treatise, originally published in 1791, was reprinted 32 years later with additional illustrations, articles, and an introduction discussing the qualifications and duties of an architect. This beautifully illustrated reproduction of the rare 1791 edition — originally designed to aid students in their study of architecture — contains 55 superbly engraved, fine-line plates displaying ornate compartments for coved ceilings; plans and elevations of pilaster capitals; pedestals for columns; arches; balusters; and other architectural features.
An extremely influential book on British architectural practices of the eighteenth century, it is still widely regarded as the standard English text on the subject.