A national bestseller, "Brunelleschi's Dome" recounts how one genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to engineer the impossible--the construction of a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in 1418. An ALA Notable Book of the Year. Illustrations & halftones throughout.A national bestseller, "Brunelleschi's Dome" recounts how one genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to engineer the impossible--the construction of a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in 1418. An ALA Notable Book of the Year. Illustrations & halftones throughout.Read Less
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Publishers Weekly, 2000-10-16 Walker was the hardcover publisher of Dava Sobel's sleeper smash, Longitude, and Mark Kurlansky's steady-seller Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. This brief, secondary source-based account is clearly aimed at the same lay science-cum-adventure readership. British novelist King (previously unpublished in the U.S.) compiles an elementary introduction to the story of how and why Renaissance Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) designed and oversaw the construction of the enormous dome of Florence's Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral?designing its curves so that they needed no supporting framework during construction: a major Renaissance architectural innovation. Illustrated with 26 b&w period prints, the book contains 19 chapters, some very brief. Although the result is fast moving and accessible, King overdoes the simplicity to the point that the book appears unwittingly as if it was intended for young adults. (Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo, for example, "took a dim view of marriage and women.") This book feels miles away from its actual characters, lacking the kind of dramatic flourish that would bring it fully to life. Despite direct quotes from letters and period accounts, the "would have," "may have" and "must have" sentences pile up. Still, the focus on the dome, its attendant social and architectural problems, and the solutions improvised by Brunelleschi provide enough inherent tension to carry readers along. (Oct. 23) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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