English Parish Churches Author:Edwin Smith, Olive Cook, Graham Hutton The parish churches of England epitomize English history and the English way of life. At their most splendid they can rival cathedrals, with their soaring piers, rich sculpture and spectacular angel roofs, while even the humblest has about it an air of serene faith, a breath of spiritual refreshment in the midst of modern living. Collectively, t... more »hey are a national storehouse of architectural and artistic beauty.
Edwin Smith's first large book of photographs, also called English Parish Churches, has been a classic of architectural photography ever since it was first published [in 1952]. His pictures seem to sum up those intangible qualities that give parish churches such a unique place in English affections: their closeness to rural life, their sense of history and continuity, the accidental charm of their slow growth through the centuries, as well as their purely architectural attractions. Indeed, his photographs were chosen by the Historic Churches Preservation Trust to win early support for its cause: in the form of a traveling exhibition, they alerted the public to the churches' threatened beauty, and spurred the formation of the Trust's county associations.
When he died in 1971 Edwin Smith left a vast number of photographs, many still  unpublished, and these have been drawn upon to make this completely new volume. Graham Hutton's enthusiastic texts set the buildings in their social and historical context, while Olive Cook provides an illuminating commentary on the views of the buildings and their contents.« less