"St. Paul's" by D. Keene

St. Paul's The Cathedral Church of London 604-2004 D. Keene, Arthur Burns, Andrew Saint

Yale Center for British Art
Publication date:
16 Apr 2004
536 pages: 330 x 260 x 39mm
many col and b/w pls


As London's mother church, St Paul's cathedral has for long been the dominant symbol of the city and of its survival through adversity, including warfare and numerous fires. By virtue of its situation in the capital, St Paul's has shaped the English church and state. Besides its position in the hierarchy of the church, the wealth of its estates and its connection to monarch and government, the cathedral has enjoyed a profound link with the city and people of London. These relationships, often controversial, give St Paul's its unique character among English cathedrals. Of the four or more great churches that have occupied the site, the last two have by their scale and architectural' quality been fully equal to the significance of St Paul's as an institution. In particular, the familiar image of the present church and its dome has stood internationally for London and the nation. The masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren, this is the only cathedral of world renown to have been designed and completed by a single architect. This wide-ranging and comprehensive account is based on the most recent research and thinking about St Paul's and London, as well as the church in England. With forty-two contributors, the book unites specialised studies with a series of historical overviews. Topics covered include the clergy and lay people associated with St Paul's; their intellectual life, interests and responsibilities; liturgy and music; patterns of devotion and commemoration; architecture, decoration, furnishing, and conservation; the endowment and income of the cathedral; its role as a landlord and as a patron of other churches; and the public role of St Paul's in both city and state. The present diocese and cathedral of St Paul's were founded in 604 and this book marks their 1,400th anniversary, Lavishly illustrated and annotated, it is a major work of reference and a fascinating history of an institution that has represented England to the world for more than a millennium.

Derek Keene is Leverhulme Professor of Comparative Metropolitan History at the Institute of Historical Research at the University of London. Arthur Burns is senior lecturer in modern British history at King's College London. Andrew Saint is professor of architecture at the University of Cambridge.

'Fascinating...an utterly compelling new book... The illustrations, some familiar, many more shown here for the first time, are stunning, though one almost hesitates to say so, as this is so much more than a picture book... This book is what Wren and his family wanted: a lasting monument worthy of the man and of his emblematic building.' - The Times '[A] visually delicious book...a distinguished roll call of academics and experts have risen to the challenge of creating a very serious history for a wide audience.' - BBC History Magazine 'Every essay is of interest, none is off-puttingly technical, and the book is sumptuously and informatively illusrated.' - The Sunday Telegraph '...a volume of such splendour and scholarly weight...that it is almost impossible to do it justice.' - Country Life 'What can [St Paul's] mean to a multi-faith society? If the answers are anywhere they are in the 500-odd sumptuous pages of Yale's new reference book...with a volume of this weight in scholarship equal to its weight in pounds and ounces, there should hardly be need for another such book in our lifetime' - Hampstead and Highgate Express 'Lavishly illustrated and annotated, it is a major work of reference and a fascinating history of an institution that has represented England to the world for more than a millennium' - Listed Heritage 'The scope equals that of the best recent books on Cathedrals' -The Church Times 'This is a sumptuous and appropriately weighty collection of papers, many of which make a substantial new contribution to our knowledge of London's mother church' - The Burlington Magazine 'This is a wonderful and wonderfully large gallimaufry of a book, as befits its subject - The World of Interiors '...a magnificent volume' - The Times 'the high level of scholarship, as well as its comprehensiveness and the evident quality of its production suggest that it will find an audience amongst architectural historians and general-interest readers alike' - The AA Files 'The combination of specialised scholarship with stunning illustrations is a winning formula which serves to amplify our admiration, awe and amazement for every aspect of the cathedral... If the object of this book is to inspire the reader to return to St Paul's to get to know it better, this has been achieved. If its object is to increase awareness of the unique role of St Paul's in the nation's life, this too is successful. As an ode to the survival and continuity of the foundation...the book does full justice to its subject.' - Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society