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Ships Of Heaven


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The author of the acclaimed The January Man walks across Britain again to tell the stories of his favourite cathedrals, not as a guidebook, but as a voyage of discovery across the ages.

About the Author

Christopher Somerville is the walking correspondent of The Times. He is one of Britain's most respected and prolific travel writers, with forty-two books, hundreds of newspaper articles and many TV and radio appearances to his name. He lives in Bristol.


Writing about the spirit of place is sometimes like nailing jelly to the wall, but Somerville's thoughtful, occasionally poetic prose hits the spot for a book that sets out to define the genius loci of these magnificent buildings. -- Ian Vince * Countryfile *
Cathedrals are all things to all people. ... To capture all this, vividly and stylishly, in one, not-very-long book suggests something close to divine inspiration ... Yet it's not the breadth of his travels that impresses. You can buy many a glossy gazetteer that gives you the tourist spiel on dozens more British cathedrals than the 20 he covers. Rather, it's the depth of the "cathedral experience" that he uncovers by the old-fashioned journalistic method of getting knowledgeable people to talk freely about what they know best, then using his sharp eyes and wits to fill in the rest of the story. -- Richard Morrison * The Times *
[Christopher Somerville's] writing is utterly enticing -- Jenny Walters * Country Walking *
[A] friendly wander around twenty-one British Cathedrals, Christopher Somerville, the walking correspondent of The Times, passes the hard test giving life to buildings that most readers have never visited...He provides many human faces to the cathedrals he visits...I hope he inspires readers to go for themselves * Literary Review *
Cathedrals are perhaps Christianity's greatest modern ambassadors in these islands: welcoming portals to experiences and emotions beyond everyday concerns. Christopher Somerville is a genial companion as far as the remotest among these glorious communities, and charmingly opens the private doors at which visitors cast speculative glances. -- Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church, University of Oxford

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