The late eighteenth-and early nineteenth-century picturesque is the focus of this

chapter. Its central figure is John Soane, notably his house, office and museum at

12-14 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, which he transformed between 1792 and

1837. Drawing parallels between Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions, William

Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey and Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, ‘A Life in Ruins’

discusses Soane’s architectural autobiography and the themes of dynasty and decay

that fuelled it. Concluding my investigation of Soane, Chapter 4 analyses his

fascination for the architectural potential of gardens, climate and weather.