Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartresby Henry Adams
This first paperback facsimile of the classic 1913 edition includes thirteen photographs and numerous illustrations of the great cathedrals of Northern France. Henry Adams referred to this book as "A Study of Thirteenth-Cntury Unity," and its expansive scope, together with the author's deep understanding of the period, makes it a classic in art history as well as in American literature. He wrote, "I wanted to show the intensity of the vital energy of a given time, and of course that intensity had to be stated in its two highest terms--religion and art."
Henry Adams' record of his journeys through France, searching for images of unity in an age of conflict, is accompanied by observations on literature, politics, religion, and major church leaders such as Abelard, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Thomas Aquinas.
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Meet the Author
Born in 1838 into one of the oldest and most distinguished families in Boston, a family which had produced two American presidents, Henry Adams had the opportunity to pursue a wide-ranging variety of intellectual interests during the course of his life. Functioning both in the world of practical men and afffairs (as a journalist and an assistant to his father, who was an American diplomat in Washinton and London), and in the world of ideas (as a prolific writer, the editor of the prestigious North American Review, and a professor of medieval, european, and American history at Harvard), Adams was one of the few men of his era who attempted to understand art, thought, culture, and history as one complex force field of interacting energies. His two masterworks in this dazzling effort are Mont Saint Michel and Chartres and The Education of Henry Adams, published one after the other in 1904 and 1907. Taken together they may be read as Adams' spiritual autobiography—two monumental volumes in which he attempts to bring together into a vast synthesis all of his knowledge of politics, economics, psychology, science, philosophy, art, and literature in order to attempt to understand the individual's place in history and society. They constitute one of the greatest historical and philosophical meditations on the human condition in all of literature.
Raymond Carney is well known for his writing on the relationships between American art, thought, and culture. He has been a Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, served as an artistic consultant to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and written extensively on American and British poetry, ficiton, drama, dance, painting, and film. His two most recent books are American Dreaming (University of California Press) and Figures of Desire (Cambridge University Press). He teaches at Middlebury College in Vermont.
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