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"This work, as well for the industry and talent which it evinces, the simplicity and correctness of its language, and the beauty of its typography, as for the fine engravings with which it is decorated, and which really present the whole and every part of this noble fabric to the eye of the amateur, is in every respect worthy of its subject. It will be esteemed a treasure, by the lovers of English architecture and Ecclesiastical antiquities, of the fine arts, and of those who are pleased with elegant topographical histories, in which much curious British Critic for May 1815. matter is involved."
"We are pleased to find so profound and elegant a work on such an important subject; and still more that the majesty of History is not insulted by egotism or rhapsodical eulogies. The narrative is elegant, concise, and satisfactory; the descriptions neat and faithful. In a word, its simple elegance, extreme accuracy, and completeness of information, fully answer all the expectations which have been conceived of it." Gentleman's Magazine, June 1815.
"This work is sufficiently copious, with respect to History, Biography, and Antiquities, as well as Architectural and Sculptural Beauties, besides being illustrated with numerous admirable views, from drawings by Mr. Nash. It is rare that we meet with a work, so happily accompanied by the best efforts of the most ingenious artists; and presenting an assemblage of all that can attract, please, instruct, and improve society. It is gratifying to find such a publication issuing from a provincial press (being also an elegant specimen of typography), and particularly respecting a Cathedral, which modern superstition had so grossly misrepresented and vilified.” Anti-Jacobin Review for August 1815.
"We believe Mr. Dodsworth will not have heard any complaints of disappointed expectation from the persons who have obtained possession of his book. There will be an unanimous testimony of its being a work of very great excellence in its department.
"The plates are twenty-one; all, except two, on so large a scale, as to leave in the royal quarto size, a margin but barely sufficient for appearance. This has enabled the artists, in several of the plates, to be minute without refining to the utmost tenuity of stroke. They are from drawings by Mr. Nash; and are engraved in a manner, for the most part, both elaborate and spirited. We should deem the points of view well selected; and persons who had the opportunity of comparing on the spot some of the representations with the reality, testify to the accurate faithfulness of the delineation. They constitute a beautiful series of exhibitions, in point both of subject and execution. Great simplicity of purpose, if we may so express it, is obvious in the delineations : all excess is avoided; there is nothing over decorative in the minute ornaments, and there is great sobriety in the management of the light and shade.
"Mr. Dodsworth's portion of the work is not to be considered as a mere accompaniment to the plates. It is the result of patient and extensive research, prosecuted, it seems, with peculiar advantages of access to the records of the establishment. It contains a variety of curious information, and is composed in a sensible and unaffected style, remarkably free from the prolixity, uncouthness, and pomp, peculiarly incident to the devotees of Ecclesiastical History." Eclectic Review for November 1815.
In addition to these concurring testimonies of the periodical critics, it may not, perhaps, be deemed superfluous to introduce a remark, prompted by a deep sense of gratitude for the liberal support which the author has experienced. The work has been honoured with a degree of patronage unusually distinguished and extensive. The list of subscribers amounts to no less than six hundred, of whom nearly one half are resident in Salisbury or the vicinity, where the accuracy of the descriptive part, and the fidelity of the delineations, can be best and most readily appreciated.
Brodie and Dowding, Printers, Sarum