This is the eleventh volume of the Pevsner Architectural Guides to the Buildings of Scotland, and it makes a fascinating addition to the bookshelf of anyone with an interest in Scotland's buildings or in Dundee and Angus. As ever with the Pevsner series, what you get is a comprehensive and authoritative guide to the key buildings and settlements of the area, complete with a large section of colour photographs of the most interesting places referred to in over 700 pages of text.
Dundee, on the one hand, and Angus, on the other, are often thought of separately, not least because they are distinct local authority areas. But the first is wholly contained by the second, apart from its River Tay frontage, and it makes a great deal of sense to consider the two together. Dundee is Scotland's fourth largest city, and has been a royal burgh since the 1100s. Despite the efforts of later "improvers" there are still traces of its medieval heritage, and, perhaps because of those same improvers, it has a wealth of Georgian and Victorian architecture on offer. Meanwhile Angus extends from the coastal plain in the east and south to the broad valley of Strathmore in the west and a series of glens penetrating the Cairngorms in the north. It comes complete with a wealth of early monuments from the prehistoric and Pictish eras, and fine examples of buildings from every period since.
The Pevsner Architectural Guides always inspire a sense of wonder in this reviewer, mainly because of the sheer depth of information they contain and the mind blowingly comprehensive nature of the coverage. How, you wonder, is it possible to come up with so much relevant information about every single significant building in what is actually a fairly large area? We still don't know the answer to that question, but it is safe to say that John Gifford, who was also wholly or partly responsible for six of the earlier volumes, has produced a worthy addition to the series that fully does justice to the architectural heritage of Dundee and Angus.