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Parish churches are England's glory. They enshrine the history of a people, most of whom have lived far from the capital, court and Parliament. These people - their art, architecture and faith - are seldom recorded or celebrated. The parish church is their public monument.
Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of England to select his thousand best churches. They are of all periods and denominations, though most are medieval foundations. Organized by county, each church is described, often with delightful asides, and is given a star-rating from one to five. The four- and five-star churches are listed as the 'hundred best' . The county sections are prefaced by a map locating each church and illustrated with photographs by Paul Barker from the Country Life Archive.
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Simon Jenkins writes a twice-weekly column for The Times and a weekly column for the London Evening Standard. In the course of his career he has edited both the Evening Standard and The Times.From Library Journal:
This excellent county-by-county survey celebrates the classic beauty, quirky individuality, and, in most cases, sublime resilience of England's parish churches, large and small, old and new, in city, town, and village. Jenkins, a veteran journalist and prolific author, shares his knowledge of the artistic and historic treasures stored in English churches with the gusto of a connoisseur, leavening his precise and vivid descriptions of each church's features with wry observations about the foibles of man, medieval or modern. He also ranks the churches using a five-star system. The text does assume some familiarity with the terminology of church architecture and the regions of England; fortunately, a glossary clarifies most terms, and maps and brief introductions to each county should help non-Anglophiles get their bearings. The general introduction outlines English church history and explains the criteria for evaluating the churches, emphasizing accessibility. Over 100 stunning color photographs from the archive of Country Life magazine, along with two indexes, one of artists and one of places, add to the appeal of this irresistibly browsable volume. Students of history, religion, and architecture will enjoy the lively insights, while the armchair traveler will be taken on a delightful odyssey across time and space. Highly recommended.DVivian Reed, Long Beach P.L., CA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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