Friday, July 22, 2016

John Schofield publishes St Paul's Cathedral: Archaeology and History

John Schofield, the Archaeologist at St Paul's Cathedral, member of our Production Team for the Virtual St Paul's Project, and author of St Paul's Cathedral Before Wren (2011), is now publishing a companion volume, St Paul's Cathedral: Archaeology and History, due out in September from Oxbow

UK preorders are being accepted here, from the usual source in the UK.

USA preorders are being accepted here, from the usual source in the USA. 

Dr Schofield's work documents the archaeological history of Wren's St Paul's, and describes as well the changes it has gone through since its initial completion in the early 18th century. 

While, to me, this building is important chiefly as the home for John Donne's memorial statue, Wren's St Paul's has served as the cathedral of the Diocese of London through the rise and fall of England's empire and through the crises of English history in the 20th century.

Everyone knows the iconic image, above, of St Paul's dome rising above the smoke of bombs dropped on London during the Blitz, embodying the spirit of England's commitment to keep calm and carry on during Hitler's efforts at conquest.

The publishers celebrate Schofield's work in this volume, reviewing the cathedral's "history from the early 18th to the early 21st century, as illustrated by recent archaeological recording, documentary research and engineering assessment."

Schofield also provides "A detailed account of the construction of the cathedral . . . based on a comparison of the fabric with voluminous building accounts which have survived and evidence from recent archaeological investigation."

This volume is a must-have for people interested in the history of baroque architecture, the career of Sir Christopher Wren, and the cultural role of St Paul's as the iconic center of London's growth as a world capital and as the best-known building at the heart of the Church of England and the world-wide Anglican Communion. 

Congratulations to John Schofield, our good friend and professional colleague, for bringing us this landmark of archaeological and architectural history. 

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