Wheelers Books
The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral

The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral (Trade Paperback / Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)

By Scott, Robert A.

  • RRP: $73.99
  • $73.99
  • Internationally sourced

The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fi...red the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler's companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent. While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life. Scott's narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn't be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.
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ISBN 9780520269996
Released NZ 15 Jun 2011
Publisher University of California Press
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, 2nd Revised edition
Alternate Format(s) View All (2 other possible title(s) available)
Internationally sourced (OOS locally); ships 6-12 working days

Full details for this title

ISBN-13 9780520269996
Stock Available
Status Internationally sourced (OOS locally); ships 6-12 working days
Publisher University of California Press
Imprint University of California Press
Released 15 Jun 2011
Publication Country United States United States
Format Trade Paperback/Paperback, 2nd Revised edition
Edition 2nd Revised edition
Author(s) By Scott, Robert A.
Category History of Art
Religious Buildings
Number of Pages 320
Dimensions Width: 143mm
Height: 235mm
Spine: 20mm
Dewey Code 726.60902
Weight 499g
Interest Age General Audience
Reading Age General Audience
Library of Congress Cathedrals, Architecture, Gothic
NBS Text Architecture
ONIX Text General/trade