For history readers, travellers and scholars alike, an indispensable behind-the-scenes guide to the great cathedrals of Paris from one of our leading scholars
Eminent French literature professor R. Howard Bloch has become renowned for his insider tours of Paris, given to college students abroad. Long sought after for his encyclopaedic knowledge of French cathedrals, Bloch has at last decided to share his intimate knowledge with a wider audience.
Here, six cathedrals—Saint-Denis, Chartres, Sainte-Chapelle, Reims, Amiens and Notre-Dame—are illumined in magnificent detail as Bloch, taking us from the High Middle Ages to the devastating fire that set Notre-Dame ablaze in 2019, traces the evolution of each in turn. Contextualising the cathedrals within the annals of French history, Bloch animates the past with lush evocations of architectural splendour—high-flying buttresses and jewel-encrusted shrines, hidden burial grounds and secret chambers—and thrilling tales of kingly intrigue, audacious architects and the meeting of aristocratic and everyday life. Complete with the author’s own photographs, Paris and Her Cathedrals vitally enhances our understanding of the history of Paris and its environs.