Books by Philip Wilkinson

Philip Wilkinson’s books include the award-winning Amazing Buildings, the ground-breaking English Buildings Book, and several TV tie-ins, including three for the BBC’s major series, Restoration. His books have been widely praised. A Celebration of Customs and Rituals of the World was singled out as ‘An important book with an important message’ (Junior Bookshelf), and Encyclopedia of Mysterious Places was described as ‘A great sourcebook filled with in-depth information’ (Standard). The Sunday Times called Phantom Architecture ‘colourful and highly entertaining’ and a pre-Christmas review of the same book in The Daily Telegraph advised its readers, ‘If you can’t think of a present for the armchair architect in your life – well, problem solved’. The Shock of the Old was selected by the Observer as a book of the week and praised by archaeologist Matthew Johnson in his book English Houses as one of the five essential books on the subject.

Philip is based in England, but his books have been published all over the world and in more than fifteen languages. He is available for work both as an author and consultant.

In over twenty-five years as a full-time writer Philip has:
• Been published by Simon & Schuster, Dorling Kindersley (DK), Headline, English Heritage, Quercus, and OUP in the UK and by Viking and Knopf in the USA
• Had one book endorsed and adopted by the United Nations
• Won a US Institute of Architects award for the best children’s book on architecture
• Acted as consultant or editor on various illustrated non-fiction books including many of DK’s award-winning Eyewitness titles
• Written the best-selling What The Romans Did For Us, Restoration, and Turn Back Time: The High Street to accompany these major BBC television series
• Helped English Heritage present architectural history to the general reader in The English Buildings Book
• Written various popular books on architecture and design, including the successful 50 Architecture Ideas You Really Need To Know (Quercus), Great Buildings (DK), and Great Designs (DK)
• Made substantial contributions to several general reference books, including DK’s Millennium Family Encyclopedia
• Since 2007, shared his ‘Meetings with remarkable buildings’ through this blog, English Buildings
• Provided consultancy services for a variety of clients including a top architectural practice and the British Library.

Books about architecture and historic places
Irreplaceable (Historic England)
Published as part of Historic England’s Irreplaceable: The History of England in 100 Places campaign, supported by the insurance company Ecclesiastical, this book celebrates one hundred of England’s remarkable places. The places, nominated by the public under the guidance of a panel of expert judges, range from the observatory in Greenwich where modern measurement of time began to an ancient inn carved into the sandstone in Nottingham, from Windsor Castle to a post-war prefab in Birmingham. The choices are surprising, intriguing, and enlightening – and all deserve to be celebrated.      

Phantom Architecture (Simon & Schuster)
Phantom Architecture looks at some of the great buildings of the world that did not make it past the architect's drawing board. A skyscraper one mile high, a dome covering most of downtown Manhattan, a triumphal arch in the form of an elephant: some of the most exciting buildings in the history of architecture are the ones that never got built. These are the projects in which architects took materials to the limits, explored challenging new ideas, defied conventions, and pointed the way towards the future.  

The English Buildings Book (English Heritage)
A major survey of buildings in England, arranged by building type and use. Sections covering all kinds of buildings – churches, houses, stations, pubs, cinemas, follies, etc. An architectural cornucopia with nearly 400 pages, illustrated with photographs by Peter Ashley. A lead title for English Heritage Publications.

Great Buildings (Dorling Kindersley)
An in-depth, richly illustrated look at around 50 of the world’s greatest buildings, from the Parthenon and Chartres Cathedral to the latest works of architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. Explores both exteriors and interiors and shows each structure’s place in the history of world architecture.

50 Architecture Ideas You Really Need to Know (Quercus)
Clear, concise and witty explanations of key concepts and inventions in architecture: from the Picturesque to the Plug-in City, Beaux Arts to Brutalism.

Frank Lloyd Wright (Quercus)
A lavishly illustrated guide to the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps the greatest architect of the twentieth century.

Restoration • Restoration: The Story Continues •
Restoration Village
(Headline / English Heritage)
The three books of BBC2’s Restoration programme provide a guided tour of the buildings featured in the series, setting them in their local and historical contexts. The text tells the story of each structure, explains how it came to be at risk, and outlines the plans for its future. A fascinating look at a variety of buildings, such as country houses, swimming pools, farms, factories, mills, and theatres.

England’s Abbeys: Monastic Buildings and Culture
(English Heritage)
An introduction to the life and buildings of medieval monasteries, outlining the history of monasticism in Britain, describing how monastic buildings were used, and showcasing the rich legacy of abbey and priory sites we can visit today.

The Shock of the Old (Channel 4 Books)
An exploration of the most significant eras of British architecture, The Shock of the Old shows how many of our best buildings of the past, far from being part of a quaint, homogenous ‘British heritage’, were dramatic statements of new form, innovative technology, or sheer eccentricity.

Amazing Buildings (Dorling Kindersley)
An inside look at 20 of the world’s most extraordinary buildings, from the Roman Colosseum to Toronto’s Skydome.
WINNER of the American Institute of Architects Award for the best children’s book on architecture.

Other architecture titles include...
Castles (Pocket Guides series, Dorling Kindersley)
Buildings (Pocket Guides series, Dorling Kindersley)
Building (Eyewitness series, Dorling Kinderlsey)
Super Structures (Dorling Kindersley)

Books about history
What the Romans Did For Us (Boxtree / BBC)
Tells the stories behind the innovations that the Romans brought with them when they invaded England – everything from mosaics and frescoes to fast food and improved sanitation. The book of the TV series presented by Adam Hart-Davis.

Turn Back Time: The High Street (Quercus)
One hundred years of British life seen through the shop window: the craft skills of the Victorian shopkeeper, the luxury and extravagance of Edwardian shopping, the ‘make do and mend’ ethos of World War II, and the transformations of the post-war era. Written to accompany BBC’s Turn Back Time series.

Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire (Templar)
A lively evocation of the story of ancient Rome, for readers aged 8 and over. Covers the lives of children, citizens, and slaves; describes Roman art and technology; depicts the excitement of the arena and the power of Rome’s army.

Titanic: Disaster at Sea (Templar)
The story of the Titanic retold for young readers. Features the building of the ship, life on board for the passengers and crew, the tragic story of the sinking, and the work of archaeologists, scientists, and salvage experts who have explored the site of the wreck.

Encyclopedia of World Events (Collins & Brown UK / Viking USA)
The stories of eighty key events in world history – decisive battles, major discoveries, crucial political statements and charters – from the time of Christ to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Tells the story of each event as well as showing its importance in world history and how it affected subsequent events.

DK Pockets: World History (Dorling Kindersley)
A major addition to DK’s series of pocket reference books.

Other history titles include...
A Child Through Time (Dorling Kindersley)
Eyewitness History of the World CD-ROM (DK)
Ancient Civilizations (Anness)
Prehistoric Peoples (Anness)
Knights and Castles (Kingfisher)
Exploration and Discovery (Kingfisher)
Best-Ever Book of Exploration (Kingfisher)
History in Stone: Ancient Greece (Quarto)
Lift the Lid: Gladiators (Quarto)

Other work on historical subjects includes...
Writing history entries for popular reference books such as DK’s Millennium Family Encyclopedia
Consultancy on historical subjects (especially ancient history and the history of the arts) for various British publishers.

Books about art and design
Great Designs (Dorling Kindersley)
A fascinating look at around one hundred of the greatest examples of design from the nineteenth century to the present. Tells the story of the evolution of familiar design classics such as the Thonet bentwood café chair and the Swiss Army knife, analyses milestones of design such as the Barcelona chair and the Citroën DS, describes and illustrates the work of great designers from William Morris to Philippe Starck, and explores the role of design in the creation of a wide range of items, including furniture, lighting, electrical appliances, and cars.

Michelangelo (National Geographic)
A brief biography for younger readers of the great Renaissance artist. The text places special emphasis on Michelangelo’s youth and upbringing, and how he learned and developed his craft as a sculptor.

Art Gallery: Faces and Stories (Macmillan)
A fresh introduction to the story of art for young people. Each book outlines the history of one subject area and gives detailed information on ten great artists in the field. Fascinating thematic spreads cover a variety of subjects, such as caricatures and how artists create illusionistic tricks.

Books about religions, belief systems, and mythology
Myths and Legends (Dorling Kindersley)
A richly illustrated collection of retellings of the world’s great myths and legends, together with accompanying explorations of meaning, context, cultural significance, key characters, and themes. A treasury of mythology, from the heroes of ancient Greece to the deities of South and Central America, from the vast pantheon of ancient Egypt to the gods of the Celtic and Norse worlds.

A Celebration of Customs and Rituals of the World (Collins & Brown / Viking USA)
Published to coincide with the United Nations Year of the Family, and endorsed by the UN
A stunning tribute to the world’s rich heritage of customs and rituals, from birth rites to funerals, initiation ceremonies to rituals designed to resolve disputes. Describes the dances, music, masks, and costumes associated with these traditions, and chronicles the beliefs behind them. 

Mythology (written with Neil Philip) and Religions (Dorling Kindersley Companion Guides)
Comprehensive guides to the world’s myths, from ancient Greece to China, and religions, from Hinduism to Christianity. 

Illustrated Dictionary of Religions (Dorling Kindersley)
A thematic dictionary of the world’s religions – their beliefs, practices, rituals, places of worship, and traditions. Covers the lives and ideas of founders and prophets. Explains the key sacred texts. Describes the similarities and differences between the various faiths and belief systems.

Islam (Dorling Kindersley)
Buddhism (Dorling Kindersley)
Christianity (Dorling Kindersley)
Three volumes in Dorling Kindersley’s award-winning Eyewitness series. Concise guides to the faiths, with thematic spreads covering topics such as the origins and history of the faith, its teachings and precepts, sacred sites, rituals and practices. Carefully integrated text and illustrations explain complex concepts in an accessible way.

Encyclopedia of Mysterious Places (Collins & Brown UK / Viking USA)
A guided tour of the history, life, and legends surrounding many of the most enigmatic ancient sites.

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Children's non-fiction books
Philip has written many children’s non-fiction books, mainly in the fields of history, inventions, exploration, art, architecture, mythology, biography and religions. His publishers include Dorling Kindersley, Quarto, Scholastic, Carlton, Kingfisher, Templar, and OUP. He also acts as a consultant in his specialist areas (history up to the Middle Ages and architecture of all periods and places).

Here is a selection of his non-fiction titles for children:

Titanic: Disaster at Sea (Templar)
Rome: Rise and Fall of an Empire (Templar)
Gandhi (National Geographic)
Eyewitness History of the World CD-ROM (DK)
World History (DK)
Ancient Civilizations (Anness)
Prehistoric Peoples (Anness)
Knights and Castles (Kingfisher)
Exploration and Discovery (Kingfisher)
Best-Ever Book of Exploration (Kingfisher)
History in Stone: Ancient Greece (Quarto)
Lift the Lid: Gladiators (Quarto)
Vikings (Carlton)

Religions, mythology and belief systems
Islam (DK Eyewitness)
Buddhism (DK Eyewitness)
Christianity (DK Eyewitness)
Illustrated Dictionary of Religions (DK)
Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology (DK)

Inventions and technology
Speed (OUP)
Flight (OUP)
Space (OUP)
Time (OUP)
The Best-Ever Book of Ships (Kingfisher)

Michelangelo (National geographic)
Art Gallery: Faces (Macmillan)
Art Gallery: Stories (Macmillan)

Building (DK Eyewitness)
Buildings (DK)
Castles (DK)
Super Structures (DK)
Amazing Buildings (DK)