In his novel The Spire (1964), William Golding tells the story of a medieval building patron driven to the brink of madness by his desire to complete a massive architectural commission.1 The patron, Jocelin, believes he has been divinely chosen to build a crossing tower over a cathedral whose slight piers and shallow foundations are wholly inadequate to the task of supporting such a structure. Numerous complications ensue. The cathedral chapter roils as disruptions multiply and expenditures mushroom. The building workshop rebels as the danger of the undertaking becomes apparent. But Jocelin, unmoved, presses onward. Indeed, he comes to identify with the project to such an extent...
One and Many: Parish Church Planning in Late Medieval England
Zachary Stewart is a historian specializing in the art and architecture of medieval Europe. His current book project investigates the parish church as a vehicle for innovative material production in late medieval England. email@example.com
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Zachary Stewart; One and Many: Parish Church Planning in Late Medieval England. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 1 September 2020; 79 (3): 264–285. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/jsah.2020.79.3.264
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