Dust jacket notes: "Notre-Dame-de-Chartres, probably the most impressive and exciting building of the Middle Ages, is one of the few to have been preserved almost intact. This cathedral, which appeals so deeply to scholarship and to fantasy, to the researcher and the devout, seems to pose as many riddles as the Sphinx. Was there a mystical genius behind the plan? What was the complex blend of numbers, geometry and symbolism used in its creation? John James's detailed work on the cathedral, the most exacting study made on any medieval monument, has revealed the answers to many of these tantalising questions. We have no names for the architects of Chartres, and yet it is not the work of anonymous men. By examining every stage of the construction, the author has isolated all the master masons, and shows that each of the masters had his own measure, his own technique of geometry and his preferred style of carving. And yet the mystery remains, for throughout the many building campaigns, a wonderful artistic unity was maintained. Although no documents or legends survive from which we can know the masters, John James brings them alive. His detailed reading of the stones of the cathedral reveals an enormous amount about these men; how they solved problems of engineering and design, and which other famous monuments they helped to create. The masters devised structures, skeletal and open, that are totally modern, with an engineering skill that was not to be repeated until the nineteenth century. They set new standards that were so successful that their influence can be felt in every country where Gothic is to be found."