10 September 2004

Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction by David Macaulay

Non-fiction. Hardcover from Houghton Mifflin Company. First published 1973. Purchased from SuperBookDeals through Amazon.co.uk's Marketplace.

This book was purchased as a supplement to Cara's World Studies course. While it certainly is not an exhaustive study of how a cathedral was built, it is very interesting. Great illustrations as well. Even after touring several old cathedrals here, it still amazes me that buildings like this were built in the 1200's.

Publisher's summary:
The Gothic cathedral is one of man's most magnificent expressions as well as one of his grandest architectural achievements. Built to the glory of God, each cathedral was created by the ingenuity, skill, and hard work of generations of dedicated people.

This richly illustrated book shows the intricate step-by-step process of a cathedral's growth. The plan is agreed on; the site is chosen; each craftsman's contribution is presented; his tools and materials are described. The details of the construction are graphically explained from the building of the foundation and the erection of the walls through the details of the flying buttresses, vaulting, and roofing, on to the completion of the towers and the casting of the bells.

The grandeur of the cathedral unfolds through the book until finally the reader shares with the townspeople of Chutreaux a sense of wonder at the power of their creation.

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