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THE HISTORIC CHURCHES OF PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND.

Smith, H.M. Scott.

Erin (Ont.), Boston Mills Press, c1986. 119pp, paper, $14.55, ISBN 0- 919783-25-2. CIP

Grades 4 and up
Reviewed by Clare A. Darby

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January


Scott Smith is an architect and journalist based in Halifax. From 1978 to 1981 he lived and worked on Prince Edward Island. In this, the first of a series of four books about "architecturally and historically significant pre-World War I buildings in Prince Edward Island," Smith puts his knowledge of both architecture and journalism to good use.

This book on Island churches deals selectively with buildings constructed before 1914 that exhibit "a substantial and/ or significant historical form, " are "associated with a significant historical event or personality," and that are "in good physical repair. . . ." Within these boundaries, Scott has produced thumbnail histories of thirty-one of the Island's best-known churches. Each sketch includes information on the builders, the materials, the architectural features, and the early clergy of the church. Each sketch also includes one or more black-and-white photos of the exterior and/or the interior of each building. As well, many of the same churches appear in the beautiful colour plates that make up twelve pages in the centre of the book. Most of these pictures are the work of well-known photographer Lionel Stevenson, and they not only serve lo illustrate Scott's architectural points, but are also pleasing to the eye.

Besides the specific histories and architectural commentaries, Smith has also included well-researched information on "The Religious Context," "Built Forms," "Architects and Builders," and "Construction Methods." Once again, numerous black-and-white photos illustrate many of the author's observations on these subjects. All this information is easily accessible through the table of contents. There is also a glossary and a section describing 'Period Styles" to help the reader through the technical language. There is a general bibliography and a selected bibliography.

The 8 by 9 format of this soft-cover text makes it suitable for leisure reading. It should also find a good following in both religious and history circles. As well, it would be a valuable addition to elementary, intermediate, and high school libraries.


Clare A. Darby, Three Oaks S.H.S., Summerside, P.E.l.
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