Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CATHEDRAL by David Macaulay


The Story Of Its Construction

by David Macaulay

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 1973
ISBN: 0395175135
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

The relatively speedy 86-year construction of an imaginary Gothic cathedral, from the hiring of the Flemish architect and various master craftsmen to the installation of the bells, statues, and stained glass windows, is traced in workmanlike prose (from two to sixteen lines per oversized page) and black and white drawings that invite poring over. This has none of the richness and passion of Anne Suger's true story told by Anne Rockwell in Glass, Stone and Crown (1968), and the absence of definitions for words like transept and vaulting, let alone tympanum and voussoirs, is a minor stumbling block. However, browsers attracted by Macaulay's lovingly detailed inside, outside and off-site sketches will most likely be intrigued as well by the equally detailed text (right down to the winter coating of straw and dung to keep the new mortar from cracking) of his solidly based re-construction.