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Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series(Part I and Part II) Westminster Abbey is the most complex church in existence. National cathedral, coronation church, royal mausoleum, burial place of poets, resting place of the great and of the Unknown Warrior, former home of parliament, backdrop to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales--this rich and extraordinary building unites many functions. Westminster Abbey is both an appreciation of an architectural masterpiece and an exploration of the building's shifting meanings. We hear the voices of those who have described its forms, moods, and ceremonies, from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Dickens and Henry James; we see how rulers have made use of it, from medieval kings to modern prime ministers. In a highly original book, classicist and cultural historian Richard Jenkyns teaches us to look at this microcosm of history with new eyes.

Westminster Abbey - Richard Jenkyns

9780674061972
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Title
Westminster Abbey
Author
Richard Jenkyns
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Harvard University Press
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20111015

Read the Bldg Blog interview with Mary Beard about the Wonders of the World series(Part I and Part II) Westminster Abbey is the most complex church in existence. National cathedral, coronation church, royal mausoleum, burial place of poets, resting place of the great and of the Unknown Warrior, former home of parliament, backdrop to the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales--this rich and extraordinary building unites many functions. Westminster Abbey is both an appreciation of an architectural masterpiece and an exploration of the building's shifting meanings. We hear the voices of those who have described its forms, moods, and ceremonies, from Shakespeare and Voltaire to Dickens and Henry James; we see how rulers have made use of it, from medieval kings to modern prime ministers. In a highly original book, classicist and cultural historian Richard Jenkyns teaches us to look at this microcosm of history with new eyes.

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Richard Jenkyns is Professor of the Classical Tradition and a Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall at the University of Oxford. His previous books include The Victorians and Ancient Greece and Dignity and Decadence: Victorian Art and the Classical Inheritance.

Westminster Abbey certainly ranks as one of the top tourist draws in the world, especially for American travelers, and those desiring a deeper profile of this London church than what a basic guidebook generally offers will do well to pay attention to this beautifully articulated essay by an Oxford professor...Exploration of the abbey's evolving functions since its origins in the thirteenth century takes the author specifically into such topics as the nature of Gothic architecture (with particular attention paid to Henry VII's chapel), the circumstances by which the abbey became a royal mausoleum and pantheon of the great, its importance as a gallery of sculpture, its physical setting within London's changing cityscape, and its major function as the site of coronations. A mellifluous writing style caps this splendid reading and learning experience.
Booklist (starred review) - Brad Hooper

Fresh and original...it's the next best thing to being there accompanied by an expert guide, with fascinating stories about the Abbey's history, influence and architectural style.
What's On in London

Few of us have so sure a grasp of the history, architecture, artworks and literary connections of this venerable Gothic structure as Richard Jenkyns, a British writer who has made the landmark his own. Westminster Abbey is a secular hymn to a great church. Jenkyns, an Oxford professor with a fine historical sensibility, is a witty and erudite teacher.
San Francisco Chronicle - David Armstrong

Type
BOOK
Country of Publication
Massachusetts
Number of Pages
224

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