Few countries are as rich in stained glass as England, with wonderful examples to be found throughout the country, from the humblest parish church to the great cathedrals. This work provides a visual and informative account of all aspects of the subject: the many qualities of glass, techniques, methods of conservation and architectural settings. ...
Few countries are as rich in stained glass as England, with wonderful examples to be found throughout the country, from the humblest parish church to the great cathedrals. This work provides a visual and informative account of all aspects of the subject: the many qualities of glass, techniques, methods of conservation and architectural settings. The author looks at the history from its beginnings in the 7th century up to the end of the 20th century, tracing the links between artists and craftsmen and the country's wider social and cultural history. A gazetteer provides a record of sites where interesting examples can be found.
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I have the 224 page 1981 printing of this title( price was the main consideration) and see there is a later larger edition which may be better than this one. As an introduction this book is good start. Each century has a chapter beginning with the 12th century and going through the 20th. There is a section of color plates, 35 pages of examples, many of which I would not have chosen because they are too similiar. A third of the book names towns and discusses what glass is there; this could have been improved with the addition of a map for those of us not familiar with a thousand small English towns. No addresses were given, and certainly not enough images; one thumbnail from each church even in black and white would have helped. Some of the descriptions are too detailed; knowing that a certain blue gown piece was damaged in the war and repaired is not that critical. I would describe Osborne's style as overly detailed to the point of tediously boring; typically English term paper/Master's thesis. Everything is "remarkable". It must have been a huge task to compile all of this data and after the 999th church I can see how one could lose enthusium for the subject. I had hoped for a boiling down of the 1,000 years of stained glass history to something I could use as a guide for actually visiting the most significant locations in a limited amount of time. I will be able to rule out a lot of places and make a list of the ones in my particular style of interest. A chart for each period's examples would have helped. This subject could really have used a modern computer to make a better presentation: to sort, highlight, and make more appealing a broad subject, but at least she tried.
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