Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/401

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us. XL MAY is, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


391


0n liaoks.


The English Parish Church : an Account of the Chief Building Types and of their Materials during Nine Centuries. By J. Charles Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. (Batsford, Is. 6d.)

Ix his minute and exhaustive account of the parish churches, which are the distinctive and essential glory of the English counties, Dr. Cox has produced an authoritative and singularly fascinating de- lineation. His work is an obvious labour of love, and rests on the exact knowledge that has grown with the familiar intimacy of many years. With one exception, he {explains, he has personally examined the buildings he describes, visiting some of them repeatedly in order to secure accuracy and definiteness for his conclusions. " With thousands of them," he observes, " I seem to be on terms of friendship, and in at least ten counties I know them all." Those interested in such investigations know what the author has already done with regard to the churches of special districts, and therefore, while they may wonder at the greatness of the achievement that has now been completed, they will be fully prepared to recognize its clearness of method, the careful precision with which its arguments are presented, and the characteristic thoroughness that dis- tinguishes its entire movement. Because it is the work of a specialist, who knows his subject from its familiar outward aspect down to its foundation, the book has notable and peculiar claims to attention, but it is also calculated to make a popular appeal. Thoughtful observers, even without expert knowledge, cannot fail to notice the fair and arresting beauty of the parish churches they encounter, and these also, as well as the specially trained student, Dr. Cox in his elaborate presentment has kept steadily in view. His consistent aim, he says, has been " to supply illustrations of the chief types and varieties in a manner not too complex or difficult for non- technical readers." He has achieved his purpose with eminent success, for both classes of his possible constituents will be able easily to follow him, and will substantially profit under his sure and skilful guidance.

At the outset Dr. Cox makes it clear that he is not concerned with city churches and cathedrals, but that his definite object is to depict the parish church pure and simple, and to show that it is the principal centre of energy in country life. In original importance and influence it must be sharply distinguished from the manor : as the house of the community it had from the first, and it essentially has still, a variety of purposes to serve. Gradually, however, as manners and customs have been modified, the church has become restricted to the main purpose of its existence, and is no longer considered suitable, as it was in early days " for a club room or insti- tute, as well as for the Divine Offices for which it was primarily built and hallowed." Dr. Cox dwells pleasantly and suggestively on the skill with which the mediaeval architects adapted their edifices to the environment with which they were associated. It is extremely interesting to follow him and to learn from his numerous and adequate examples that the height and the decorations of the sacred buildings must have been largely


determined by considerations of landscape. This; we realize at once, while also bearing in mind " that the wealth of the wool-growing and wool- weaving districts, as contrasted with the com- parative poverty of mountainous regions, has also to be taken into account." The chapter on ' The Plan of the English Parish Church ' is explicit and distinctly useful, the author profusely illustrating his contention that all varieties of structure may ultimately be traced back to one of three fundamental types in use in the twelfthi century. He follows this with an exhaustive and 1 illuminating chapter on architectural styles;, showing at every turn his intimate familiarity with the steady development of his grand subject. He deprecates divisional schemes adjusted ac- cording to reigns or an arbitrary choice of dates,, and we agree with him in preferring to reach' conclusions through a consideration of successive- styles. We further think him justified in his proposal to introduce " Geometrical " between Rickman's " Early English " and " Decorated." Dr. Cox's description and discussion are through- out adequate, animated, and dexterous, and constitute perhaps the most striking feature of his book.

The remaining chapters, devoted respectively to ' Materials ' and ' What to Note in the Parish <. Church,' show the research, the skilful apprecia- tion of values, and the definite presentment that are abundantly illustrated everywhere in the- volume. Incidentally Dr. Cox justly condemns- certain modern renovations, and he does good service in handling various delusions which it seems hard to dispel. " I cannot but hope," he- observes in his preface, " that I have done some- thing towards the suppression of foolish fables which are still current about our old churches, such as ' leper windows ' or ' sanctuary rings,' and also towards a right understanding of such a subject as consecration crosses." His treatment of these matters in the text amply justifies him, in this hope. It is a pleasure to add that the numerous and skilfully diversified illustrations are- well qualified to serve their purpose.

Elizabeth Hooton, First Quaker Woman Preacher (1600-72). By Emily Manners. With Notes,, &c., by Norman Penney. (Headley Bros.)

THIS collection of heads of data, with selections from different documents, forms Supplement 12 of the Journal of the Friends' Historical Society. Its subject is described by George Fox in his ' Journal ' as " a very tender woman whose name was Elizabeth Hooton," but would hardly be considered to deserve that particular epithet, in our modern way of using it. She was a woman of heroic stuff, who, somewhat late in life, became possessed by the convictions which animated the early Quakers, and brayed persecutions and hard- ships of all kinds, both in England and in America, in her zealous preaching of their doctrine. This brochure, which has been very carefully drawn up, may claim the attention of students of the seventeenth century on three or four good counts. It may be consulted for details of the progress of the Quakers in the New World and the proceedings against them ; it furnishes a number of instruc- tive examples of the written English of the period, as found among the uneducated (Elizabeth Hooton, amid praise of her friends and denuncia- tion of her enemies, sometimes inserts bits of vivid