Notre-Dame: A Short History of the Meaning of Cathedrals
Ken Follett will donate his proceeds from this book to the charity La Fondation du Patrimoine.
‘The wonderful cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the greatest achievements of European civilization, was on fire. The sight dazed and disturbed us profoundly. I was on the edge of tears. Something priceless was dying in front of our eyes. The feeling was bewildering, as if
Every time I’m angry, irritated or feeling like a tiger ready to jump on top of its prey, I go to a church. Since I’m not even religious, I don’t go there to purify my soul. I go there due to the instant calming effect I experience, and I thoroughly recommend you the same recipe! 😉
Churches, chapels, cathedrals... are all food for peace — this kind of buildings have a magical soothing effect on human souls. In that sense, in a world like ours, they are priceless and should be preser ...more
While obviously not providing a thorough history of Notre-Dame, much less of European cathedrals more broadly, Follett's essays provided enough background to ...more
This little book is very special, it comes from the heart. Ken Follett's love for cathedrals is undeniable, something that influenced me largely after my reading of Pillars of the Earth.
This book is very interesting. It mentions the very beginning of the construction and the tremendous importance that the people have on such a collective work of art. It ...more
Mr Follett begins this essay with his reactions on finding out about the fire and later being asked to write up his thoughts on both the significance and history of the building. As for his thoughts, he states he was both heart sick and grateful – heart sick a ...more
I highly recommend this book, especially that all its rights will go towards the reconstruction of the cathe ...more
I was so lucky to be in Paris in 2015. My husband and I were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. Obviously, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris was on our itinerary. What an incredible experience! I love this quote from Follett: "I'm not a religious believer...I love the architecture, the music...". That pretty much sums up my feelings. In addition, the HISTORY is just so interesting. And in ...more
As a part-time resident of Paris for many years, I too felt enormous pain as Noted Dame burned. As a fan of Follett, I looked forward to reading this essay. How disappointed I was to read a rehashing of what I already knew, in what I would describe as a freshman English paper. Missing from this was any new perspective nor any discussion of the current efforts and arguments regarding its current reconstruction, the proposed designs for a new tower etc. I also expected there to ...more
It’s also incredibly simplistic, both the writing and the (minimal) information included.
This would be a good basic primer for someone who knows absolutely nothing about Notre Dame or medieval cathedral building, but if you’re even moderately educated on the subject, there’s not much in this book that you won’t already know.
And when one burns, we weep.’
I share Follett's love for, admiration of, wonder at, cathedrals. I was lucky to grow up in a North American city that has, I believe, more churches, and "old" (for North ...more
This is a brief yet potent glimpse into the impact of cathedrals, and its role in inspiring his most famous novel, The Pillars of the Earth. One of my favorite parts touches on how such a monumental project drew workers of both genders from near and far. The title will be available in English ...more
“I believe that a novel is successful to the extent that it touches the emotions of the reader. And something similar may be true of all works of art. It is certainly true of cathedrals. Our encounters with them are emotional. When we see them we are awestruck. When we walk around them we are enraptured by their grace and light. When we sit quietly we are possessed by a sense of peace. And when ...more
Full review at “ ...more
But this is how it was meant to be. Follett accurately, factually and simply tells the story of the most famous religious building in France and why a lot of us French have been heartbroken to see it burn.
I knew the name of course, but never dare to embark on the marathon of Follett's "Pillar of the earth" but after this, I have put it on my TBR list! ...more
Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of t ...more
Di sicuro è così per le cattedrali.
Quando le vediamo stagliarsi contro il cielo restiamo sbalorditi, quando le visitiamo restiamo affascinati dalla loro grazia. Quando ci sediamo in silenzio proviamo un gran senso di pace.
E quando una cattedrale brucia, piangiamo.”