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The Gothic Cathedral

The Architecture of the Great Church 1130-1530

Christopher Wilson


The definitive book on the gothic cathedral by the winner of the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion, awarded by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain for an outstanding contribution to architectural history


The Gothic Cathedral focuses on the interaction between design and the requirements of patrons, following the creative processes of architects by reconstructing the problems and opportunities which faced them.

Christopher Wilson presents the essential facts on such aspects as chronology, structural techniques and stylistic developments and then goes further, seeing the story as a sequence of choices from which new solutions arose, which, in their turn, gave rise to still more challenges.

Illustrated with carefully chosen photographs and specially drawn diagrams, this fresh, perceptive and provocative book has already established itself as a definitive introduction to the subject.

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'There has long been a need for an adequate synthesis … It is this that Christopher Wilson has now produced in his well-written and finely illustrated book'
Times Literary Supplement

'A closely argued work of scholarship which stands out from books like it'
Building Design

'A wealth of new insights … original and important general account of Gothic architecture … beautifully designed …'
Burlington Magazine

'Superb photographs and crisp line drawings with extensive captions that are often as illuminating as the text itself'
Architectural Review

'A fine, austere, scholarly book, handsomely produced and illustrated ... thoroughly recommended'
The Architects’ Journal

'The best account of the subject ... a fresh, feisty book'
Country Life

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 24.7 x 17.5 cm

Extent: 304 pp

Illustrations: 221

Publication date: 1 September 1992

ISBN: 9780500276815

About the Author

Christopher Wilson is Emeritus Professor in the History of Art at University College London.