John Saltmarsh passed away in
1974, leaving a legacy which included several drafts of his unpublished magnum
opus, King’s College Chapel: A History and Commentary. His roles as a historian
and the College’s archivist enabled him to carry out more detailed research
than would otherwise have been possible. Though not quite finished, his
manuscript offers a significant new perspective on the iconic chapel of King’s
College, Cambridge. In this volume, readers will find a transcript of
Saltmarsh’s working copy of the manuscript, including his notes and annotation.
A detailed biography prepared by the College following Saltmarsh’s death and
contemporary reports on the manuscript are also presented.
The volume is in two books. The
first book, the History, is an account of the building of the Chapel up to the
completion of the stonework in 1515. Through detailed study of the College’s
medieval accounts, Saltmarsh reconstructs the economic and social history of
the building, as well as its place within King’s College and Cambridge. The
second book, the Commentary, presents a detailed description of the Chapel as
Saltmarsh saw it, building on the Chapel tours and public lectures for which he
is fondly remembered.
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