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The Cathedral Church of Canterbury [2nd ed.] A Description of Its Fabric and a Brief History of the Archiepiscopal See   By: (1867-1950)

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In the revised edition of "The Cathedral Church of Canterbury," author Hartley Withers offers a captivating and comprehensive exploration of one of England's most significant religious landmarks. With an expert combination of architectural analysis and historical insights, Withers provides readers with a profound understanding of Canterbury Cathedral and its role as the center of the Archiepiscopal See.

One of the book's striking features is the vivid description of the cathedral's fabric. Withers meticulously details the intricate craftsmanship, highlighting the remarkable interplay of light and space within the cathedral's cavernous interior. The author's ability to capture the grandeur of the building's design allows readers to develop a deep appreciation for the skill and dedication of the medieval craftsmen who brought this magnificence to life.

Moreover, Withers' account of the cathedral's history is equally enthralling. Readers are guided through the centuries of Canterbury Cathedral's existence, from its early origins as a modest Saxon church to its transformation into the iconic place of worship we know today. Withers masterfully navigates the complex web of religious and political events that have shaped the cathedral's destiny, highlighting pivotal moments such as the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket and the subsequent pilgrimage that made Canterbury a renowned site of pilgrimage in the medieval period.

The author's meticulous research is evident throughout the book, as he provides a wealth of information surrounding the individuals who have played significant roles in the cathedral's history. From the revered archbishops who governed Canterbury to the skilled craftsmen who contributed to the cathedral's construction, each character is expertly presented, elucidating their impact on the cathedral's development.

While "The Cathedral Church of Canterbury" is undeniably a scholarly work, Withers' prose is accessible and engaging, making the book enjoyable for both casual readers and enthusiasts of history and architecture alike. Although the revised edition maintains the original text, it also benefits from additions and updated information that reflect recent discoveries and advancements in research.

One area for improvement would be the inclusion of more visual aids. While the author's descriptions are remarkably vivid, the addition of high-quality photographs or illustrations would further enhance the readers' experience. This would allow readers to better appreciate the intricate details and majestic beauty of Canterbury Cathedral that Withers so expertly portrays with his words.

In conclusion, "The Cathedral Church of Canterbury [2nd ed.]" by Hartley Withers is an essential read for those seeking a deeper understanding of this magnificent architectural masterpiece and the rich history of the Archiepiscopal See. Withers' thorough research, engaging prose, and expert analysis offer an unparalleled glimpse into the spiritual and cultural significance of Canterbury Cathedral. Whether one is planning a visit to this iconic landmark or simply seeking to delve into the depths of its history, this book serves as an invaluable resource.

First Page:





[Illustration: Arms of Canterbury.]


First Edition December, 1896. Second Edition, Revised, with many Additional Illustrations, May, 1897.


This series of monographs has been planned to supply visitors to the great English Cathedrals with accurate and well illustrated guide books at a popular price. The aim of each writer has been to produce a work compiled with sufficient knowledge and scholarship to be of value to the student of archæology and history, and yet not too technical in language for the use of an ordinary visitor or tourist.

To specify all the authorities which have been made use of in each case would be difficult and tedious in this place. But amongst the general sources of information which have been almost invariably found useful are: firstly, the great county histories, the value of which, especially in questions of genealogy and local records, is generally recognized; secondly, the numerous papers by experts which appear from time to time in the transactions of the antiquarian and archæological societies; thirdly, the important documents made accessible in the series issued by the Master of the Rolls; fourthly, the well known works of Britton and Willis on the English Cathedrals; and, lastly, the very excellent series of Handbooks to the Cathedrals, originated by the late Mr... Continue reading book >>

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