Paris and Her Cathedrals

Liveright: Norton. Oct. 2022. 368p. ISBN 9781631493928. $32.50. TRAV
Reading this book is like being taken on a breathtaking but leisurely tour of some amazing Parisian cathedrals by an avuncular docent—Bloch (God’s Plagiarist), who is a professor of French at Yale University. His gorgeous and expansive work explores the architectural details of the exteriors and interiors of six cathedrals: Saint-Denis, Notre Dame, Chartres, Sainte Chapelle, Amiens, and Reims. A two-page map shows the locations, and the text provides brief but helpful directions (by foot or subway). A wealth of exquisite detail is included that relates to specific chapels, transepts, naves, labyrinths, facades, friezes, door jambs, reliquaries, choirs, quatrefoils, stained glass windows, statues, sculptural textiles, medallions, columns, towers, and spires. Readers will appreciate the author’s keen eye and conversational and informational tone as the spiritual and intriguing histories of these structures are explored and explained. The work also includes excellent illustrations, a brief glossary, suggested readings, links to images online, and an index.
VERDICT Essential reading for first-time and return visitors to Paris.
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