7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
The modern world often believes that there is little to be learned from the past, as they feel that if you can't see or touch the past it doesn't exist. What this title does is bring prime examples of intricate carving to the reader and the makes sense of the hidden messages within each of them that allows the modern viewer to decode the message as to whom the marker is for alongside who they were in their everyday life. Beautifully presented this title has lots of examples of carving that survived the dissolution of the monasteries as well as decoding the messages within in such a delightful way that you'll never look at another headstone the same way again. Fascinating, intriguing and above all else a wonderful link to our own past.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2012
In recent times there has been a well deserved and increasing interest in church monuments after years of neglect. It is a fascination subject giving a wide view of the past: not just the development of art and sculpture but the changing attitudes towards many aspects of life, including religion and death. Only here can we see contemporary armour and dress in the round. It is fascinating to see the changing way people in the past like to present themselves for the future, from the simplest to the - at time ridiculously - flamboyant representations. Exciting too is to visit churches and see for yourself monuments whether of the unknown or the famous, perhaps someone you have read about; monuments bring these people and their times to life.
Sally Badham, of the Church Monuments Society, has had a life long interest in the subject and this book is a fine and comprehensive introduction to the subject. It is clearly written and the photographs are of the highest quality showing a wide and fascinating variety of monuments of the medieval period. Useful too is the 'places to visit' section arranged by county to guide you into see the monuments in situ yourself. Modern and rather mundane looking churches sometimes hold fascinating monuments preserved from earlier churches.
Five stars too must go to Shire from publishing this book. Books on church monuments are rare and expensive - often very much so - but Shire - as ever - produce an excellent volume at a very reasonable price. A fact you will discover if you persue the 'further reading' list. In recent times Shire books have become even better: a 'proper' spine with title so the book is not lost between others, all colour photographs and a text which not longer has some sections in boxes, which can make disjointed reading.
There is a companion volume on monumental brasses by Sally Badham and Martin Stutchfied which is worth considering also.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2011
The most interesting and accessible medieval sculpture is found not in national art galleries but in churches, and particularly the monuments, effigies and tombs. In St Mary's Church, Warwick, is a magnificent gilded cast copper-alloy of Richard Beauchamp (who died in 1439) which cost £730, a huge sum for that date; the figure of Blanche, Lady Grandison at Much Markle Church in Herefordshire is carved with consummate skill, her delicate fingers holding a rosary; and at Felixkirk, North Yorkshire, can be found one of the best-preserved fourteenth-century military effigies in England. "When first set up", writes author Sally Badham, "such tombs must have stunned viewers with their magnificence."
The author traces the development of churchyard monuments, describes the different styles of tomb design, explains the symbolism found on the effigies and in their poses, and pinpoints the best examples, in this well-illustrated and informative guidebook that will find an appreciative audience amongst all church visitors.