Synopses & Reviews
This fascinating book recounts the extensive building program that took place at Canterbury Cathedral Priory, England, from 1153 to 1167, during the time when Thomas Becket served as Royal Chancellor and then as archbishop of Canterbury. Masterminded by Prior Wibert, the renewal included the physical expansion of the cathedral's precinct, the construction of new buildings, and the installation of a pioneering pressurized water system. This ambitious undertaking utilized a Late Romanesque style, lavish materials, and sculpture, and drew on the optimism and creative energy of the young Angevin rulers of England, Henry II and his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine.and#160;
Canterbury Cathedral Priory in the Age of Becket reassesses the surviving remains and relates them to important changes in Benedictine monasticism concerned with hospitality, hygiene, the administration of law, liturgy, and the care of the sick. It also restores to history a neglected major patron of unusual breadth and accomplishments. Peter Fergusson sheds fresh light on the social and cultural history of the mid-12th century.
“McClendon displays an impressive command of the sources and the secondary literature. . . .he writes in a fluent yet authoritative manner. . . .”
-- Edith Raim - Holocaust and Genocide Studies
Winner of the 2009 Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion, awarded by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain -- Pamela A. Parmal - Winterthur Portfolio
This fascinating book offers a new understanding of Englands earliest Gothic buildings and art, placing them against a background of the religious and ethical ideals of the individuals and communities who sponsored them.
To appreciate Englands earliest Gothic buildings and artthe great cathedrals at Canterbury, Lincoln, Salisbury, and Wells and contemporary Gothic texts and imagesit is necessary to understand the religious and ethical ideals of the individuals and communities who sponsored them. Paul Binskis fascinating new book offers a radical new perspective on English art, architecture, social formation, and religious imagination during this pivotal period.
Binski reveals that the Church, although authoritarian and undergoing reform, was able to come to terms with new developments in society and technology as well as with the fact of social and religious diversity. He explains how varying ideals of personal sanctity were bound up with radical new notions of leadership, personal ethics, and styles of religious devotion and how ideas of reform of worship, personal conduct, and art affected the community at large.
This book is the first devoted to the important innovations in architecture that took place in western Europe between the death of emperor Justinian in A.D. 565 and the tenth century. During this period of transition from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages, the Early Christian basilica was transformed in both form and function.Charles B. McClendon draws on rich documentary evidence and archaeological data to show that the buildings of these three centuries, studied in isolation but rarely together, set substantial precedents for the future of medieval architecture. He looks at buildings of the so-called Dark Agesmonuments that reflected a new assimilation of seemingly antithetical barbarian” and classical” attitudes toward architecture and its decorationand at the grand and innovative architecture of the Carolingian Empire. The great Romanesque and Gothic churches of subsequent centuries owe far more to the architectural achievements of the Early Middle Ages than has generally been recognized, the author argues.
In this original account of architecture in England between c.1150 and c.1250, Peter Draper explores how the assimilation of new ideas from France led to an English version of Gothic architecture that was quite distinct from Gothic expression elsewhere. The author considers the great cathedrals of England (Canterbury, Wells, Salisbury, Lincoln, Ely, York, Durham, and others) as well as parish churches and secular buildings, to examine the complex interrelations between architecture and its social and political functions. Architecture was an expression of identity, Draper finds, and the unique Gothic that developed in England was one of a number of manifestations of an emerging sense of national identity.
The book inquires into such topics as the role of patrons, the relationships between patrons and architects, and the wide variety of factors that contributed to the process of creating a building. With 250 illustrations, including more than 50 in color, this book offers new ways of seeing and thinking about some of Englands greatest and best-loved architecture.
This is the first book devoted to churches in Ireland dating from the arrival of Christianity in the fifth century to the early stages of the Romanesque around 1100, including those built to house treasures of the golden age of Irish art, such as the Book of Kells and the Ardagh chalice. Ó Carragáin's comprehensive survey of the surviving examples forms the basis for a far-reaching analysis of why these buildings looked as they did, and what they meant in the context of early Irish society. Ó Carragáin also identifies a clear political and ideological context for the first Romanesque churches in Ireland and shows that, to a considerable extent, the Irish Romanesque represents the perpetuation of a long-established architectural tradition.
About the Author
Charles B. McClendon is professor and chair, department of fine arts, Brandeis University. He is the author of The Imperial Abbey of Farfa: Architectural Currents of the Early Middle Ages, published by Yale University Press.