THE CITY AND THE CATHEDRAL by Robert Gordon Anderson


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This is virtually a biography of the city on the Seine, a companion volume to the author's Biography of a Cathedral. For here is the high tide of the Gothic in the Middle Ages, culminating in mediaeval Paris. Here the psychological aspect of the teeming city is powerfully affected by Notre Dame and the religious fervor of the church demonstrated in her art, her literature and her material fortunes. From 1200 AD to the beginning of the 14th century, the story of the city is told in the lives of some of her great men, -- Louis IX, St. Francis, the unknown great illuminators and artists, Thomas Aquinas, King Philippe and Dante- as they go about the city in forming and dramatizing her story. The University grows, the history and art of bookmaking flourishes, the students, churchmen, sailors, writers, doctors, nuns, knights, laymen parade in brilliant pageant. A foretaste of his style is demonstrable in the first chapter, when Queen Eleanor brings the small Blanche of Castille from her home in Spain to be the fair ""white queen"", the mother of Louis IX. The book is not only informative and fascinating, but human and appealing. Its reading public is circumscribed but generous, a must for the intelligentsia.

Publisher: Longmans, Green