The Virgin of Chartres Making History through Liturgy and the Arts Margot E. Fassler

Publication date:
29 Jun 2010
Yale University Press
632 pages: 254 x 178 x 41mm
123 b-w + 16 color illus.
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Medieval Christians knew the past primarily through what they saw and heard. History was reenacted every year in ritual observances particular to each place and region and rooted in the legends of local saints.This richly illustrated book explores the layers of history found in the cult of the Virgin of Chartres as it developed in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Focusing on the major relic of Chartres Cathedral, the Virgin’s gown, and the Feast of Mary's Nativity, Margot Fassler employs a wide range of historical evidence including local histories, letters, obituaries, chants, liturgical sources, and reports of miracles, leading to a detailed reading of the cathedral's west façade. This interdisciplinary volume will prove invaluable to historians who work in religion, politics, music, and art but will also serve as a guidebook for all interested in the history of Chartres Cathedral.

More about this title

• Winner of the 2011 ACE/Mercer’s International Book Award
• Winner of the 2012 Otto Gründler Book Prize sponsored by Western Michigan University

Margot E. Fassler is the Robert Tangeman Professor of Music History at Yale University.

"Fassler is one of the only scholars in medieval musicology able to bring both the liturgical and the historical expertise to questions of cult. We so desperately need this book if we are to fully understand the workings of religion in medieval Europe."—Rachel Fulton, University of Chicago

"A book which makes an outstanding contribution to the dialogue between religious faith and the visual arts."—Writer’s News