Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Gothic Revival Resources

With all our talk recently of Comper and the Gothic revival, I feel I would be somewhat remiss to not remind folks that that great Catholic gothic revivalist, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, has had many of his writings put back into print by Gracewing and Spire Books.

Gracewing, an English publisher, has produced three, affordable, softcover editions which incorporate the following of Pugin's writings:

The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture

An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture

These two books are published together in a single volume at the quite reasonable price of £9.99.

In addition, Gracewing has also put out an edition of Pugin's A Treatise on Chancel Screens and Rood Lofts for £12.99 and The Present State of Ecclesiastical Architecture in England along with Some Remarks...relative to Ecclesiastical Architecture and Decoration (the latter two of which are bound into one volume for £12.99.)

Aside from Gracewing, Spire Books provides its own combined edition of two of Pugin's works, one being, again, The True Principles of Pointed or Christian Architecture along with Pugin's famed Contrasts. This particular edition is a little pricier, sitting £33.95, but it also comes bound in a beautiful deep green cloth hardcover with Pugin's self-designed crest on embossed in gold on the front cover.

Between these two publishers, one has access to the majority of Pugin's most significant writing.

It would be nice to see the remainder of Pugin's works be reprinted, most particularly his Glossary of Ecclesiastical Ornament and his short work on Plainsong.

Incidentally, Spire Books also brings to the light of day another important series of pamphlets, published as a book, those of the Cambridge Camden Society -- or Ecclesiological Society -- who helped influence, in a significant way, the gothic revival in England. Some of their earliest pamphlets are published under the title 'Temples... worthy of His Presence': The Early Publications of the Cambridge Camden Society

This latter group were not Catholics, but their strategies helped to form and shift both popular opinion and the opinion of their clergy in the direction of a more traditional architecture and liturgy. There is no doubt merit in examining how they approached their situation, which might help us examine and determine strategies as to approaching similar questions in our own modern day Catholic parishes. Some of the parallels and opposition they faced are similiar to what I shall call, "continuity-based-Catholics" also face when trying to implement a reform of the reform or, now, the use and adoption of the classical use.

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