Architectural Notes on German Churches: With Remarks on the Origin of Gothic Architecture

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A tutor of mathematics at Cambridge, William Whewell (1794-1866) mostly published on mechanics. He became professor of mineralogy in 1828, Knightbridge professor of moral philosophy in 1838, and master of Trinity College in 1841. This work is unusual among his writings for its focus on architecture, yet the emphasis placed on terminology is consistent with his other publications, such as An Essay on Mineralogical Classification and Nomenclature (1828). Architectural Notes is significant for offering a detailed theoretical analysis of the origins of Gothic architecture, especially of the mechanical principles underlying it, notably the pointed arch. The discussion of German churches, despite the book's title, is of secondary concern, although guidance is given for recording Gothic buildings. This first edition was published anonymously in 1830. The second (1835) and third (1842) editions bore Whewell's name and were partially revised to reflect recent research on the origin of the pointed arch.

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Cambridge University Press
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