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Church Misericords and Bench Ends (Shire Library) Paperback – 9 Oct 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications (9 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747807442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747807445
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 420,537 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

I have been a fan of Shire Books ever since I came to England as a student. Authoritative, attractive and well priced they guide you effortlessly through an amazing range of subjects across time and space from Animals in Ancient Egypt to English Parish Churches. Lloyd Grossman, Chairman, The Churches Conservation Trust --Lloyd Grossman

About the Author

Richard Hayman is an architectural historian and archaeologist who has been studying and photographing churches over many years. He has compiled many of the statutory lists of buildings of special architectural interest for Wales, and has also written a book on wrought iron for Shire.


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is one of the new style Shire Histories (the one I have in front of me is dated 2009) with a high proportion of excellent quality colour photographs, some of them full page. The text sets these vigorous woodcarvings in their context of everyday medieval life, sports and pastimes, and popular narratives both religious and secular. Hayman also shows how motifs and illustrations were sometimes copied by the carvers from contemporary woodcuts. He does not sneer at more recent church carvings, which is refreshing, and some Victorian examples are illustrated.

I would strongly recommend this book both as an introduction to the subject and as a spur to further exploration. There is, in addition to the index, a list of churches to visit arranged by county. Having taken it away with me recently, I am pleased that it helped me find some fascinating carvings.

Two quibbles: Hayman refers to "Wiggenhall St Mary" near Kings Lynn in Norfolk, site of some of the best carvings in England. Confusingly, the road atlas has TWO Wiggenhall St Maries; you want Wiggenhall St Mary the Virgin, a church no longer used for worship but preserved for its astonishing carvings; visit also nearby Wiggenhall St Germans. Second quibble; Hayman omits Glandford, near Blakeney. All the woodcarving in this church dates from a late 19th century restoration, but it is outstanding; incontrovertible evidence that Victorian craftsmen were, if given free rein, capable of producing work as vivid and indiosyncratic as their medieval forerunners.
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Format: Paperback
This is just a small introductory booklet, but well worth the price as a taster. The illustrations are fairly good, but can only give a limited view of the topic, being so few and the topic so large. The only point with which I would take issue is the author's patronising dismissal of the carver Siimon Werman's spelling of his own name. I assume Mr Hyman does not know that spelling conventions have changed over the centuries! Buy it if you fancy...
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By P on 30 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
As with most Shire books, this gives an insight into its subject. Although not a full reference book (what do you expect for the price?) it is a good read and should stimulate you to be observant when visiting churches and cathedrals.
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