St Paul's: The Cathedral Church of London 604-2004

Derek Keene, Arthur Burns, Andrew Saint
Institute of Historical Research, Yale University Press
Subject Areas


As London's mother church, St Paul's cathedral has for long been the dominant symbol of the city and of its survival through adversity, including warfare and numberous fires. By virtue of its situation in the capital, St Paul's has shaped the English church and state. Besides its position in the hierarchy of the church, the wealth of its estates in earlier times and its connection to monarch and government, the cathedral has enjoyed a profound link with the city and people of London. These relationships, often controversial, give St Paul's its unique character among English cathedrals.

Of the four or more great churches that have occupied the site, the last two have by their scale and architectural quality been fully equal to the significance of St Paul's as an institution. In particular, the familiar image of the present church and its dome has stood internationally for London and the nation. The masterpeice of St Christopher Wren, this is the only cathedral of world renown to have been designed and completed by a single architect.

This wide-ranging and comprehensive account is based on the most recent research and thinking about St Paul's and London, as well as the church in England. Contributed by forty-two authors, the book unites specialised studies with a series of historical overviews. Topics covered include the clergy and lay people associated with St Paul's; their intellectual life, interests and responsibilities; liturgy and music; patterns of devotion and commemoration; architecture, decoration, furnishing and conservation; the endowment and income of the cathedral; its role as a landlord and as a patron of other churches; and the public role of St Paul's in both city and state.

The present diocese and the first cathedral of St Paul's were founded in 604 and this book marks their 1400th anniversary. Lavishly illustrated and annotated, it is a major work of reference and a fascinating history of an institution that has represented England to the world for more than a millennium.

' utterly compelling new book...The illustrations, some familiar, many more shown here for the first time, are stunning, though one almost hesitates to say so, as this is so much more than a picture book...This book is what Wren and his family wanted: a lasting monument worthy of the man and of his emblematic building' - The Times
'[A] visually delicious book...a distinguished roll call of academics and experts have risen to the challenge of creating a very serious history for a wide audience' - BBC History Magazine
'Every essay is of interest, none is off-puttingly technical, and the book is sumptuously and informatively illustrated' - The Sunday Telegraph
'a volume of such splendour and scholarly weight...that it is almost impossible to do it justice' - Country Life


Winner of the William MB Berger Prize for British Art History, 2004

Published by Yale University Press
ISBN 0 300 09276 8; 335mm x 255mm; hardback; 538pp.; 150 b/w + 240 colour illus.
Price: £65.00

Available from: Sales Department, Yale University Press, 47 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3DP. Tel: 020 7079 4900; Fax: 020 7079 4901. Email and all good bookshops.

Published: Apr 2004 ISBN: 0300092768