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Resource Materials
Notre Dame: The Soul of Medieval Paris

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Many of these books are available at local bookstores including Books Inc and Keplers, or at your local library.

Short List of Recommended Resources
Compiled by Chuck Sieloff

It is often said that the central character in Victor Hugo’s novel (called simply Notre Dame de Paris in the original) is the cathedral itself. Published in 1831, and partly responsible for renewed public interest in restoring the neglected landmark, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is readily available in book, audiobook, and Kindle formats, and has been made into at least five English-language films (most notably the 1923 silent version starring Lon Chaney).

To learn more about how Gothic cathedrals were actually constructed, see David Macaulay’s beautifully illustrated classic, Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction (1973, 79pp; also available in Kindle and made into a one-hour video), the fictionalized step-by-step account of an 86 year process to create a magnificent cathedral in medieval France.

Robert A. Scott
, one of the featured speakers at our program, explains the broader social and religious context of the great cathedrals in The Gothic Enterprise: A Guide to Understanding the Medieval Cathedral (2003, 250pp).

Another of our speakers, Stephen Murray of Columbia University, is the co-creator of a web site that also presents a broad view of Gothic art and architecture in France: Mapping Gothic France. Although still a work in progress, the site is an impressive demonstration of computer graphics, mapping, and panoramic images. A good web site devoted to Notre Dame is Earthlore Explorations.

Suggested Reading and Resources

High Middle Ages Intellectual History

Benson R. L. and Giles Constable, eds. Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century. Harvard, 1982.

Bisson, Thomas. The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship, and the Origins of European Government. 2009.

Bowen, James. A History of Western Education: Vol. II Civilization of Europe: Sixth to Sixteenth Century. London: Routledge, 2003.

Constable, Giles. The Reformation of the Twelfth Century. 1996.

Geary, P. Before France and Germany: The Creation of the Merovingian World, Oxford, 1988.

Geremek, The Margins of Society in Late Medieval Paris, Cambridge, 1987.

Grant, L., Abbot Suger of St-Denis. Church and State in Early Twelfth-Century France. London, 1998.

Hallam, Elizabeth and Judith Everard. Capetian France, 987-1328. 2001.

Jordan, William. Europe in the High Middle Ages. 2001.

Le Goff, Jacques. Medieval Callings. Translated by L. G. Cochrane. University of Chicago, 1990.

---. The Intellectuals in the Middle Ages. Translated by T. R. Fagan. Oxford, 1993.

Mundy, John. Europe in the High Middle Ages, 1150-1309. 2000.

Scott, Robert A. The Gothic Enterprise. Berkeley, 2003. The Bibliography is available at Sarum Seminaras a pdf file.


Aubert, Marcel. The Art of High Gothic Era. New York: Crown, 1995.

Camille, Michael. The gargoyles of Notre-Dame: medievalism and the monsters of modernity. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2009.

---. Gothic Art: Glorious Visions. New York: Abrams, 1996.

---. The Gothic Idol: Ideology and Image-Making in Medieval Art. New York: Cambridge, 1989.

Caviness, Madeline. Art in the Medieval West and its Audience. Aldershot: Ashgate, 2001.

---.Visualizing Women in the Middle Ages: Sight, Spectacle, and Scopic Economy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2001.

Dodwell, C. R. Medieval Art: Recent Perspectives. Ed. by Gale R. Owen-Crocker. Manchester: Manchester University, 1998.

Focillon, Henri. The Art of the West in the Middle Ages, II: Gothic Art. New York: Phaidon.

Frankl, Paul. The Gothic: Literary Sources and Interpretations Through Eight Centuries. Princeton, 1960.

Grant, Lindy. Abbot Suger of St.-Denis: Church and State in Early Twelfth-Century France. London, New York: Longman, 1998.

Henderson, George. Gothic Style and Civilization. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967.

Martindale, Andrew. Gothic Art from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Centuries. New York: Oxford, 1967.

Os, Henk Van. The Art of Devotion in the Late Middle Ages in Europe, 1300-1500. Princeton, 1994.

Toman, Rolf, ed. The Art of Gothic. Köln: Könemann, 1999.

White, John. The Year 1200. 2 vols. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1970.

Williamson, P. Gothic Sculpture, 1140-1300. Yale, 1995.

-----. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, London, 1994.



Binski, Paul. Westminster Abbey and the Plantagenets: Kingship and the Representation of Power, 1200-1400. New Haven: Yale, 1995.

Bindings, G., High Gothic. The Age of the Great Cathedrals. Taschen, 1999.

Blum, Pamela Z. Early Gothic Saint-Denis: Restorations and Survivals. Berkeley: University of California, 1992.

Bony, Jean. French Gothic Architecture of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries. Berkeley: University of California, 1983.

Branner, Robert. Gothic Architecture. New York: George Braziller, 1991.

Brooks, C., Gothic Revival, London, 1999.

Clarke, Georgia and Paul Crossley, eds. Architecture and Language: Constructing Identity in European Architecture, c. 1000-c. 1650. Cambridge, 2000.

Coldstream, Nicola. The Decorated Style: Architecture and Ornament, 1240-1360. London: The British Museum, 1994.

---. Medieval Architecture. Oxford, 2002.

Erlande-Brandenburg, Alain. The Cathedral: The Social and Architectural Dynamics of Construction. Cambridge, 1994.

---. Gothic Art. New York: Abrams, Inc. 1989. 

---. Notre-Dame de Paris. New York: Abrams, Inc. 1998.

Fernie, Eric and Crossley, Paul, eds. Medieval Architecture and Its Intellectual Context: Studies in Honour of Peter Kidson. London: Hambledon Press, 1990.

Frankl, Paul. Gothic Architecture, ed. Paul Crossley. New Haven: Yale, 2000.

Gerson, Paula, ed. Abbot Suger and Saint-Denis : A Symposium. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986.

Kemp, W. The Narratives of Gothic Stained Glass, Cambridge, 1996.

Murray, Stephen. Notre-Dame, Cathedral of Amiens: The Power of Change in Gothic. Cambridge, 1996.

Nussbaum, Norbert. German Gothic Church Architecture. New Haven: Yale, 2000.

Radding, C. and Clark, W. W. Medieval Architecture, Medieval Learning. Builders and Masters in the Age of Romanesque and Gothic, New Haven, 1992.

Raguin, Virginia, Kathryn Brush et al. Artistic Integration in Gothic Buildings. Toronto: Toronto University, 1995.

Stoddard, Whitney. Monastery and Cathedral in France. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University, 1966.

Wilson, C. The Gothic Cathedral. The Architecture of the Great Church, 1130-1530, London, 1990.


Alexander, Jonathan J. G. Medieval Illuminators and their Methods of Work. New Haven: Yale, 1992.

De Hamel, Christopher. A History of Illuminated Manuscripts. 2nd rev. ed. London: Phaidon, 1994.

Hedeman, Anne D. The Royal Image: Illustrations of the Grandes chroniques de France, 1274-1422. Berkeley: University of California, 1991.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Cloisters Apocalypse. 2 vols. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971.

Scheller, Robert. Exemplum: Model Book Drawings and the Practice of Artistic Transmission in the Middle Ages. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University, 1995.

Shailor, Barbara. The Medieval Book. Yale: The Library, 1988.

Wieck, Roger. Painted Prayers: The Book of Hours in Medieval and Renaissance Art. New York: Braziller, 1997.

On The Web

Amiens Cathedral Web site: A comprehensive Web resource addressing the historical context and significance of Amiens Cathedral through the use of original photography, QuickTime movies, Flash animations, and three-dimensional computer models.

France, Paris, Cathedral, Interactive Ground Plan

France, Paris, Cathedral, Diagrams

France, Paris, Cathedral, Animated Glossary 

French Capetian kings

Gothic Architecture     

Gothic Sculpture: A review of the tombs, portals, choir screens and freestanding sculpture of the Gothic period will provoke a discussion of issues concerning devotional practices; liturgy; attitudes to the body, death, and transcendence as well as the more traditional concerns with style, iconography, color and chronology.

Intellectual Infrastructures and Networks at Paris in 12th and in early 13th centuries  By Hee-Man Lee

Mapping Gothic France

Medieval Life and Times

Medieval Millennium: Objects of Desire (Spring 2000)

Medieval Music: Crusade songs came to us almost entirely from the repertories of the troubadours and trouveres. That in itself seems to be a fact of great importance, for coexisting in the musical spectrum of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were other important repertories. Alongside the secular, vernacular chant of troubadours and trouveres there was, on the one hand, the Latin sacred chant still cultivated in the monasteries, and, on the other hand, an entirely distinct repertory, that of the new polyphonic or “part-music,” which flourished not at court nor in the monastery but in the great urban cathedrals of the north, especially at Notre Dame de Paris.
     —Richard L. Crocker on Early Crusade Songs

Panorama of St. John the Divine: Travel through the architecture of St. John the Divine.

Sarum Seminar. The Sarum Seminar is a continuously-evolving program for enthusiasts of Gothic cathedrals and medieval life. It began with a 1994 course on Salisbury Cathedral taught by Robert Scott through Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program.

Use of Artificial Intelligence to Study Gothic Cathedrals

Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame as a free e-book.

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