English Parish Churches (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1977
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English Parish Churches
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Smith's photography is enhanced by informative chapters, written by Graham Hutton, that trace the evolution of English parish church design and construction from well before the Conquest up to and through the Victorian era. Of course, the story of parish churches is also the story of the parish, and therefore the reader also will find here a fine capsule summary of changing sociological patterns over many centuries.
If I have one complaint, it's in the way the text, explanatory notes, and photos are arranged. Hutton's chapters are annotated with references to the photographic plates, which are all generally in one section following the relevant text. The explanatory notes on the photos, in turn, are in a section following the plates. So a reader who wants to look at a photo to which Hutton refers must turn ahead several pages to find the photo, and then several more pages to read, essentially, the caption to the photo. In all, it makes for a lot of flipping pages back and forth and a less than entirely efficient reading experience.
Apart from that, though, this title should have a lot of appeal, not just to architecture and art historians, but also to the not-insubstantial number of people who have affection for historic churches, the English countryside, and the preservation of both. There is much here to learn from, and enjoy.
As I read the text I turned to the photos and studied them as they were referenced in the text. At the conclusion of the text there are notes on the photos and then the photos follow. This format occurs throughout the book. After reading the text I then read the photo notes and studied the photos for a second time. This format and study method links the visual study of the photos with the textual study causing each to develop the other. As a result, the second photo exam reveals far more to the reader than the first.
This book has been very beneficial to me and I recommend it and the study method it creates.
Fortunately, his prints and negatives are now cared for in the RIBA library in London.