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Westminster Abbey   By:

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Westminster Abbey by A. Murray Smith is a captivating and comprehensive exploration of one of the most iconic landmarks in England. Smith takes readers on a journey through the Abbey's rich history, providing a remarkable glimpse into its significance as a religious, political, and cultural institution.

From its humble beginnings as a Benedictine monastery to its current status as a grand royal mausoleum, Smith meticulously traces the Abbey's evolution over the centuries. Drawing from a wide range of sources, including historical documents, architectural plans, and personal accounts, he pieces together a comprehensive narrative that sheds light on the Abbey's enduring importance.

What sets this book apart is Smith's engaging storytelling. The author's prose is accessible and vivid, allowing readers to easily immerse themselves in the Abbey's vibrant past. Through descriptive passages and carefully chosen anecdotes, Smith brings the Abbey's grandeur to life, making it feel as though one is walking through its hallowed halls.

Furthermore, Smith's deep understanding of the Abbey's architectural intricacies becomes evident throughout the narrative. He provides insights into the building's stunning Gothic architecture, emphasizing its significance as a reflection of the societal and religious changes that sweep across England. By delving into the construction techniques and highlighting the masterful craftsmanship behind each architectural detail, Smith expands our appreciation for this remarkable monument.

While the book's focus is primarily on the Abbey's physical attributes, Smith also delves into its cultural and social importance. He explores the lives and legacies of the historical figures buried within its walls, allowing readers to understand the Abbey's role in preserving the memory of England's monarchs, writers, and statesmen. By interweaving their stories with the larger historical context, Smith effectively illustrates the Abbey's significance as a microcosm of British history.

Despite its strengths, some readers may find that the book occasionally delves into overly technical explanations, particularly when discussing architectural details. Additionally, the extensive amount of historical information conveyed within the pages may feel overwhelming to readers without prior knowledge of British history. However, these minor drawbacks do not detract significantly from the overall impact and value of the book.

Westminster Abbey by A. Murray Smith is a meticulously researched and beautifully written tribute to an architectural gem that holds immense historical and cultural significance. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an architecture aficionado, or simply curious about this iconic landmark, Smith's book is an excellent choice for delving beneath the surface and uncovering the rich tapestry of Westminster Abbey's past. It is a captivating read that illuminates the Abbey's enduring relevance and leaves readers with a deeper appreciation for this captivating historical treasure.

First Page:


[Frontispiece: The North Transept]


Here is represented the north front as it appeared before the last restoration, i.e. we see the handiwork of the eighteenth century and the fa├žade as remodelled under the superintendence of Sir Christopher Wren. The modern front was constructed about twenty years ago.


Painted by


Described by


Author of 'The Annals of Westminster Abbey,' 'The Roll Call of Westminster Abbey,' Etc.

With Twenty One Full Page Illustrations in Colour

London Adam and Charles Black 1906

Published August 30, 1904 Reprinted, with corrections, March 1906




Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

A Walk Round Westminster Abbey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141



1. The North Transept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Frontispiece


2. View of the Abbey and St... Continue reading book >>

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