Notre Dame – The Soul of France
A timely book as everyone can remember where they were when they heard and or saw the flames coming from the Notre Dame Cathedral in the centre of Paris. This book looks into the heart and soul of that building and it’s an insightful read.
So, what does this book tell you about the cathedral and its place in France’s heart?
Setting: The very famous cathedral
The symbol of Notre Dame is known the world over. It’s well-known and respected in France and around the world and is, a stunning building inside and out. I’ve been there many times and had the privilege of attending remembrance services there so have heard the acoustics and felt the essence of the huge interior. To even imagine this great beauty in flames is heartbreaking.
But did I know the story of the cathedral? This book is like a diary, a ‘This is Your Life’ of the great buildings of the world. I was very keen to find out more.
This book follows its journey from the laying of the first stone in 1163 to when Henri IV converted to Catholicism right up until perhaps the most famous event – the 1950s film of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. When a building has been immortalised in such a famous film and book, it takes on an even deeper meaning for us bookworms.
What I liked about this book is that it was a fascinating account of an iconic building but also of the iconic story behind that building. I think this has been a true labour of love for the author and she has taken her research into the matter with care and love.
They call the cathedral the People’s Cathedral and the elephant in the desert among other things. It does stand out against the entire city! The layout of the book and the chapters introduce a new development, a vignette of sorts to help put the pieces of this puzzling story together. By the end, the image is complete and it’s a fascinating historical path.
The cathedral is so embedded in French history and people’s minds. This handy guidebook to will show you why. What happens next with the rebuilding of the cathedral and, ultimately of France itself?
That’s a whole series of books right there.
BookTrail Boarding Pass: Notre-Dame : The Soul of France