This wide-ranging book explores the architecture-principally ecclesiastical-of Normandy from 1120 to 1270, a period of profound social, cultural, and political change. In 1204, control of the duchy of Normandy passed from the hands of the Anglo-Norman/Angevin descendants of William the Conqueror to the Capetian kingdom of France. The book examines the enormous cultural impact of this political change and places the architecture of the time in the context of the Normans' complicated sense of their own identity. It is the first book to consider the inception and development of gothic architecture in Normandy and the first to establish a reliable chronology of buildings.
Lindy Grant extends her investigation beyond the buildings themselves and also offers an account of those who commissioned, built, and used them. The humanized story she tells provides sharp insights not only into Normandy's medieval architecture, but also into the fascinating society from which it emerged.