The Geometry of Love: Space, Time, Mystery, and Meaning in an Ordinary Church

Open Road Media
3
Free sample

A “delightful” tour of Rome’s St. Agnes Outside the Walls, examining the stories, rituals, and architecture of this seventeen-hundred-year-old building (The Christian Science Monitor).

In The Geometry of Love, acclaimed author Margaret Visser, the preeminent “anthropologist of everyday life,” takes on the living history of the ancient church of St. Agnes. Examining every facet of the building, from windows to catacombs, Visser takes readers on a mesmerizing tour of the old church, covering its social, political, religious, and architectural history. In so doing, she illuminates not only the church’s evolution but also its religious legacy in our modern lives. Written as an antidote to the usual dry and traditional studies of European churches, The Geometry of Love is infused with Visser’s unmatched warmth and wit, celebrating the remarkable ways that one building can reveal so much about our history and ourselves.
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About the author

Margaret Visser writes on the history, anthropology, and mythology of everyday life. Her most recent book is The Gift of Thanks. Her previous works, Much Depends on DinnerThe Rituals of Dinner, The Way We Are, and The Geometry of Love, have all been bestsellers and have won major international awards, including the 1989 Glenfiddich Award for Food Book of the Year in Britain and the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Literary Food Writing Award and Jane Grigson Award. In 2002, Visser gave the Massey Lectures on CBC Radio, subsequently published as the bestselling book Beyond Fate.
Visser’s works have been translated into French, German, Dutch, Chinese, Italian, and Portuguese. She appears frequently on radio and television and has lectured extensively in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. She divides her time between Toronto, Paris, and southwest France.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Jun 23, 2015
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9781504011709
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Language
English
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Genres
Architecture / Buildings / Religious
Architecture / History / Medieval
Art / Subjects & Themes / Religious
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.

Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.

Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him.

Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.
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