PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION Few people read prefaces, and those who do may be irritated if the plan of the book is disclosed and the bubble of the plot is pricked before the reader is led to the last chapter. This preface is here to suggest to readers who may be daunted or bored by the final sentence of the first chapter, that this is neither a technical book nor an academic history. It does not pretend to contain original thoughts but it does attempt to sort out the tangle of ideas, prejudices and sentimental associations that surround the subject of architecture, with the aim of rendering intelligible to the layman what has happened and what is happening in the making of buildings. The author must acknowledge his indebtedness not only to the books of Mr A. Trystan Edwards, but to many discussions with that able critic. In Mr Christian Barmans work he has also found both inspiration and example.