THE BIOGRAPHY OF A CATHEDRAL by Robert Gordon Anderson


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Steps in history which led up to the building of Notre Dame in Paris -- history, religion and art in blend. With a certain eloquence and in elaborate detail, the author traces the history, secular and sacred, architecture, sacrament, legend, sculpture and symbolism, incorporated in the making of a great cathedral. He goes back to 52 B.C. and the defense of that spot which later became Paris from the Romans, then on to the building of the Temple of Jupiter: the coming of Christianity and its spread across Europe, the building of a Christian church, St Etienne; the vestments, services, divine dramas of the period; the fall of the Roman Empire and the story of Genevieve, who became Our Lady of Paris; the religious orders of the middle ages; the defense of Paris in successive wars; the crusades; Alelard and Heloise; and finally the building of the cathedral that was to replace St. Etienne -- Notre Dame. Artisans and artists came from everywhere to create its gargoyles and glass, its sculpture and design...A book that is given impetus by the reoccupation of Paris and the revival of interest in her historic monuments....The only other book which I recall and which overlaps in certain respects was Gartell Prentice fascinating The Heritage of the Cathedral, published by Morrow in 1936...One regrets in this new book the absence of illustration.

Publisher: Longmans, Green