THIS little book took its origin in a paper read before the Architectural Association, and in a subsequent request from Messrs. Bell to edit a new edition of Bloxam's "Gothic, Architecture." But its mere re-issue in these days did not seem to me quite to meet the need, and I have therefore tried to make clear in a brief and popular form the causes and principles which underlie the wonderful history and development of mediaeval art. I have not entered into controversial questions such as the first appearance of the true Gothic vault, or of the pointed arch, or whether Flamboyant was of English or French origin, but have simply stated the conclusion at which I have myself arrived after carefully following for many years past the different discussions which have arisen on these and similar subjects. As the book is a handbook and not an encyclopaedia it was necessary to keep it small. Several subjects, therefore, are treated at quite insufficient length. This is especially the case with timber roofs, towers, spires, and screens, and no attempt has been made to treat of Gothic Sculpture.
The illustrations of the English Cathedrals are mostly taken from Messrs. Bell's excellent handbooks; most of the foreign ones are from my own photographs, which were nearly all taken on Imperial N.F. (non-