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Glossary of church architectural terms
on 22 February 2013
I'm interested especially in Gothic cathedrals. I bought this little (64 4.5"x7" pages) to act as portable reference. Portable it certainly is. A reference? Not really, but why? Quite sensibly, the book is organised alphabetically as an illustrated dictionary of terms. Unless you know the name of something, however, the illustrations are the way to search for what you want to know. The illustrations are mostly postage-stamp size, hand-drawn, black ink drawings. With drawings rather than black-and-white photographs, uninformative detail can be left out, to advantage. The drawings are free-hand sketches, however, so that intended straight lines and circles aren't. For some of the entries, the words are curious, if not downright misleading, with clear explanation too often sacrificed to brevity. All of this is a pity. The aim of the book is admirable: its execution is disappointing. Fewer but fuller accurate explanations, with competent drawings, and the book could achieve its purpose.