MONKS, NUNS, AND MONASTERIES by Sacheverell Sitwell


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Monks, Nuns, and Monasteries is a study, or rather a photographic record cum text, of monastic architecture. Beginning with the medieval monasteries and nunneries of England, the author works his way, in geographic and logical order, through the cloisters and monastic churches of Europe, and ends with an unusual and particularly engrossing survey of the monasteries of the Eastern Church. The book is profusely, and often superbly, illustrated by 150 fine photographs of monasteries, monastic churches, and scenes from monastic life. The temptation with a book of this sort is to skim over the text and concentrate on the illustrations, a practice usually more than justified by the former's prolix inanity. In this work, however, the text is at least as important, and often more fascinating, than the illustrations; the author gives us an informative, witty, pleasantly rambling and highly readable account of his personal impressions and of the historical background of the institutions discussed, and seasons his observations with precisely the right quantity of charming anecdotal material. This is a handsome and unusually well balanced work, ideal as a gift, as a guide for visitors abroad, or for just plain enjoyable reading.

Pub Date: Oct. 25th, 1965
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston