Art: That Wonderful Victorian

"Don't forget to speak scornfully of the Victorian Age, there will be time for meekness when you try to better it." With that challenging epigraph borrowed from James M. (Peter Pan) Barrie, a Philadelphia artist named John Maass has written a book (The Gingerbread Age; Rinehart; $7.95) defending—of all things —American Victorian architecture. "This was no mean age," says Author Maass. "In every field of human endeavor, the mid-19th century was a time of frenetic activity and massive achievement. Is it true that the generation which constructed the transatlantic cable and the transcontinental...

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