The architectural, landscape and constitutional plans of the Earl of Mar, 1700–32

Margaret Stewart

Hardback €49.50
Catalogue Price: €55.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-575-0
January 2016. 448pp; full colour illustrations, large format.

‘Stewart’s book challenges the widely held perception of Mar as an untrustworthy dilettante. Rather, she suggests that he should be seen as a man who might have earned a somewhat different reputation had he lived longer and in less troubled times … She reveals Mar to have been a highly skilled surveyor and draughtsman whose meticulously executed plans and drawings illustrate the book … Drawings of buildings and gardens in France and Italy are also included, which make the book a visual feast for both architectural and landscape historians. Thanks to her meticulous research, Stewart is also able to give us a fascinating insight into Mar’s wide social circle and extensive travels throughout Britain and on the continent, and to demonstrate the influences which these had on his designs’, Christopher Dingwall, Historic Gardens Review (February 2017).

A remarkable achievement, full of interest for architectural, garden and political historians. It is a wide-ranging forensic study which sets the architectural designs of the sixth Earl of Mar (born 1675) in the context of a very complex political and economic world … His reputation will be deservedly enhanced by Dr Stewart’s impressive work of scholarship’, Jeremy Musson, Architectural History (2016).

‘[An] impressive feat of intellectual archaeology … Margaret Stewart has managed in this scholarly and generously illustrated work to produce a mental map of a man who sought, through architecture, to inspire a new political culture for the nations of Britain’, David Gelber, Apollo (2016).

‘This book is the result of Margaret Stewart’s lifelong interest in John Erskine, sixth Earl of Mar (1675-1732), one of Scotland’s foremost citizens of the early eighteenth century … This large and finely illustrated monograph is the outcome of extended research conducted in several places in England and Scotland as well as in Paris, Rome, Bologna, Aachen and Antwerp. Although Stewart’s approach is mainly that of an architectural historian, the book extends far beyond the discipline of architectural history and encompasses many aspects of Scottish and Jacobite political and economic history … The beautiful illustrations, which include portraits and other treasures in the family collection of the present fourteenth Earl of Mar and sixteen Earl of Kellie, pay tribute to a man of taste, familiar with the most novel architecture in Europe’, Clarisse Godard Desmarest, Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Spring 2016).

‘In this marvellously illustrated book, Margaret Stewart recounts the life and achievements of John Erskine, sixth earl of Mar and eleventh Lord Erskine, writing not only as a historian of gardens and the wider designed landscape, but as a chronicler and critic of the writing of the history of Scotland, England, Ireland and Europe in the late seventeenth and earlier eighteenth centuries, producing a nuanced and original account of the period of the Union and the earlier Jacobite risings … [the] wealth of drawings and the reproduction in colour of so many of Mar’s designs from the collections of the National Records of Scotland makes the book a visual feast’, Marilyn Brown, the Pleasaunce (April 2016). 

‘John Erksine, 6th Earl and 1st Jacobite Duke of Mar, was an amateur architect who spent much of his time, particularly during his long years of exile, making detailed architectural and landscape drawings, most of which have survived. Margaret Stewart has made a careful study of these drawings and presents them in this important and beautifully produced book, giving a thorough and fascinating analysis. The result completely changes, or at least extends, our understanding of this very interesting man … this exceptionally interesting and useful book contains 186 large photographs, most of them in colour, in 362 pages. It is hard to see how Margaret Stewart’s book could be bettered, and it will certainly become the standard work on the subject for the foreseeable future … this book is very strongly recommended’, Edward Corp, Royal Stuart Society Journal (2016).


‘This … valuable volume closes with several essays on aspects of Mar’s life, including more architectural work in France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland, and Antwerp, his ideas for future constitutional plans … for Scotland and Great Britain, his work on his own estate at Alloa in Scotland … The author should be congratulated on revealing these little-known aspects of an important historical figure', Clyve Jones, Parliamentary History Yearbook (2017).