Heaven on Earth
The Lives and Legacies of the World's Greatest Cathedrals
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 480
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
A glorious illustrated history of sixteen of the world's greatest cathedrals, interwoven with the extraordinary stories of the people who built them. 'An impeccable guide to the golden age of ecclesiastical architecture' The Times 'Vivid, colourful and absorbing' Dan Jones 'An epic ode to some of our most beautiful and beloved buildings' Helen Carr The emergence of the Gothic in twelfth-century France, an architectural style characterized by pointed arches, rib vaults, flying buttresses, large windows and elaborate tracery, triggered an explosion of cathedral-building across western Europe. It is this remarkable flowering of ecclesiastical architecture that forms the central core of Emma Wells's authoritative but accessible study of the golden age of the cathedral. Prefacing her account with the construction in the sixth century of the Hagia Sophia, the remarkable Christian cathedral of the eastern Roman empire, she goes on to chart the construction of a glittering sequence of iconic structures, including Saint-Denis, Notre-Dame, Canterbury, Chartres, Salisbury, York Minster and Florence's Duomo. More than architectural biographies, these are human stories of triumph and tragedy that take the reader from the chaotic atmosphere of the mason's yard to the cloisters of power. Together, they reveal how 1000 years of cathedral-building shaped modern Europe, and influenced art, culture and society around the world.
An impeccable guide to the golden age of ecclesiastical architecture... Meticulously researched... It's to Wells's credit that she manages to make the history of these cathedrals as gripping as she does. * The Times * Emma J. Wells has written an accessible, authoritative and lavishly illustrated account of the building of 16 of "the world's greatest cathedrals" * Spectator * Wells brings these buildings vividly to life, peopling them with their authors and sponsors, their triumphs and tribulations, and beautifully illustrated * Country Life * Sumptuously presented... A fascinating look at how people in the Middle Ages combined spirituality, symbolism, mathematics and monumental toil to create some of history's grandest buildings * History Revealed * This beautifully written and impeccably researched book is an utter joy to read, managing to be both academic and yet accessible to the lay reader * Yorkshire Life * Strikingly show[s] the influence these imposing buildings exerted [and] the importance of the people who built these places * History Today * '...lucid and absorbing narrative...the book offers a luminous insight into the medieval mind' * The Critic *