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The English Cathedral Hardcover – 4 Oct 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Oct 2012
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Merrell (4 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1858945909
  • ISBN-13: 978-1858945903
  • Product Dimensions: 35.1 x 28.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Peter Marlow's hymn to the formidable structures that dot our landscape' --Sunday Telegraph Seven Magazine

'the formality and the detail of the photos give this traditional pictorial subject matter a welcome new twist' --Martin Parr's Best Books of 2012

'causes us to reflect on the spiritual and architectural power of these magnificent buildings' --SAGA Magazine

'A thorough documentation of some unique and enduring architecture … This is a worthy and noble project.' --Amateur Photographer magazine

'marvelously uplifting' --The Field

'... a book to pass down through the generations, just as our forefathers left us their great cathedrals' --Friends of Ripon Cathedral website

Your comprehensive guide --Period Living magazine

About the Author

PETER MARLOW has been a member of the international photographers' collective Magnum Photos for more than 30 years. He has exhibited his work throughout Europe. MARTIN BARNES is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. JOHN GOODALL is Architectural Editor of Country Life magazine. His book The English Castle was published in 2011.


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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was given this book as a present because I am mad about cathedrals and love reading about who built them and their place in history. This book documents all of England's cathedrals and the photographs are truly stunning. I like the way Peter Marlow tells the story of how he took the photos and the people he met along the way, it makes the book more than just a celebration of architectural heritage. If I had not been given the book as a present I certainly would have treated myself to a copy. I shall treasure it.
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Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of going to the launch of this a few weeks back.I was surprised by the subject matter but drawn to the event having seen a lot of Peter Marlow's previous work.The book ticks all boxes.Beautiful photography.Majestic architecture.History and an insight into how the photographer works.The consistent view point allows you to take a journey that many of us will never complete.The book is both modern and historic.Images to savour over many years.All in all a beautiful book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photographs in this book really are stunning. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised as I thought when I ordered it the book would contain exterior as well as interior shots and would act like Simon Jenkins's books on English churches and houses. But by restricting himself to shooting the naves of cathedrals and taking them from the same vantage point and under the same lighting conditions, Peter Marlow has produced a consistent and exemplary body of work which stands comparison to any of the achievements of the great German photographers of recent times (Gursky et al) and Sugimoto in Japan. The production of the book is as good as the photographs and in my view this is one of the great photography books of all time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The quality of the photographs matches the splendor of the Cathedrals of England, simply inspiring.

The key to the book is the consistent view to the nave, this gives the book great cohesion and strength. It avoids a book of interesting photographs without a focus which would have diminished the power of the subject and the quality of the observation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I received this book for my birthday after hinting that I would like it. It's much larger than I realised - a really huge book. The print quality is great and the paper is thick, so you get wonderfully detailed photos.

The pictures themselves are amazing - all shot in the same way for consistency: straight down the centre of the nave. There are also smaller photos from other angles and mini essays about each cathedral.

This is an excellent book to dip into, and a must-have for any architectural photographer, or just anyone who admires cathedrals.
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Format: Hardcover
In today's high-tech, high-speed digital age, where every smartphone sports a camera, it must be a strangely incongruous sight to see a man standing on a step-ladder behind a large and cumbersome tripod, topped by a camera with bellows, his head hidden under a black cloth as he squints at a ground-glass screen. At his feet a pile of film plates and no doubt various other bits of paraphernalia. Add to this the serene silence of a great cathedral at dawn, the sense of wonder at the immense achievement of its construction, awe at its purpose and the devotion of those who built it, and you would be forgiven for losing track, just for a moment, of which century you're in.

In a way this mental image captures the essence of this intriguing book. As the years pass, fashions and technologies come and go, the English cathedral is arguably the nearest approximation to eternity humanity has contrived. Certainly the experience of entering these vaulted spaces lifts the heart and elevates the spirit, today just as it must have centuries ago when many of them were young.

Clearly Peter Marlow was responding to feelings such as this when he embarked on this project. The photographs are at the same time inspiring and purely descriptive, a difficult balance to achieve in a single photograph. Having leafed through the book I found myself attracted at first by the more interpretative photographs of his predecessors in the Introduction: Martin Hürlimann's picture of Wells (1950), Edwin Smith's Canterbury(1968). They are certainly inspiring and self-consciously "creative"; but against them, Marlow's interpretation is restrained, self-deprecatory and in some ways purer.

Part of me misses the people in these photographs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A simply stunning book. Peter Marlow, with a single shot of each cathedral nave, has captured the grandeur and brilliance of England’s artistic and architectural heritage. The book does contain text, including interesting notes from the photographer concerning his work and a brief history of England’s cathedrals. However, this is primarily a coffee table book. There are a number of wonderful introductory works for those interested in reading more on the subject, especially The Cathedrals of England (World of Art) which includes a number of excellent black and white photographs. Instead this is a book to savour. To go back to and admire again and again.
By focusing on the nave not only does Marlow achieve a simplicity and unity in his work, he brings the English cathedrals greatest asset to the fore. As most of England’s Anglican cathedrals are Gothic -- with notable exceptions such as St Pauls of course -- an examination of the nave showcases the thundering richness and length achieved by the medieval builder in England. The photographs of Winchester and Canterbury are for this reason breathtaking. Whether a lover of cathedrals or photography, or even simply an admirer of beautiful pictures, this is a book worth owning.
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