This is a book for people who are interested in statues . . . and for people who aren’t. It explores those immortalised in marble and bronze – and what the rest of us think about them.
As Roger Lytollis travels Britain he encounters a man at Liverpool’s Beatles statue convinced that Rod Stewart was in the Fab Four. In Edinburgh he walks into a row over Greyfriars Bobby’s nose and in Glasgow learns why the Duke of Wellington wears a traffic cone on his head. London brings a controversial nude statue and some hard truths about racism.
Elsewhere, Roger sees people dancing with Eric Morecambe, finds a statue being the backdrop to a marriage proposal and, everywhere he goes, pigeons. Always pigeons. On a Pedestal is the first book to examine public statues around the nation. It looks at their emergence onto the front line of our culture wars; the trend for portraying musicians, sports stars and comedians rather than monarchs, politicians and generals; the inspirational stories of many of those commemorated on our streets, such as suffragettes and the only soldier awarded a Victoria Cross on D-Day.
The book features interviews with sculptors including Sir Antony Gormley telling the stories behind some of our most popular modern statues.
Part history book, part travelogue, On a Pedestal discovers Britain through its statues. It’s a book that, ultimately, is more about blood than bronze.