Pugin's writings and buildings changed the course of British architecture. The Present State, published in 1843, is significant in marking the transition from Pugin the Gothic propagandist and polemicist to Pugin the working architect and designer who can now show actual examples of his own buildings. In this book he espouses Gothic of the early fourteenth century as the pinnacle of architectural excellence, a style which would remain the backbone of the Victorian Gothic Revival for the next thirty years. Having lamented the existing state of church architecture, Pugin proceeds to describe in some detail, and with reference to his own buildings, the essentials of a properly designed and appointed Catholic parish. This pioneering work is reproduced here in facsimile and carries an insightful introduction by leading Pugin scholar, Michael Fisher.