Walpole, Horace William, 4th Earl of Orford

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Walpole, Horace William, 4th Earl of Orford (1717–97). English virtuoso and wit. His importance in the realm of architecture lies in his creation of Strawberry Hill, Twickenham, Mddx. (from 1750), one of the earliest key buildings of the Gothic Revival, publicized in his A Description of the Villa of Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill (1774 and 1778). This asymmetrical house set precedents for Picturesque composition. He also helped to make Gothic fashionable when he published his The Castle of Otranto, a ‘Gothic Romance’ (1764), an early work of Romanticism. He included notes on the works of architects in his Anecdotes of Painting in England (1762–71), and he furthered the study of medieval architecture by encouraging James Essex in his researches.

Bibliography

M. Aldrich (1994);
Germann (1972);
W. S. Lewis (1960, 1973);
M. McCarthy (1987);
Mowl (1996);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Jane Turner (1996)