St Paul's is unique among English cathedrals for its association with the richest city in the realm and with the secular and political life of the capital. At the same time it has been a lively site of devotion, often innovative in liturgy, music, and decoration, and sometimes at the heart of conflict between opposing views. The story of St Paul's offers many insights into the history of England as a whole and into the part played by religion in both private and public life. This magnificent book--the first comprehensive history of St Paul's Cathedral in thirty years--opens with a series of historical overviews of the cathedral, of the people associated with it, and of its religious, social, and political significance, from its foundation to the present. Additional essays investigate various topics related to the successive cathedrals on the site, and many well-chosen illustrations underline these themes and present the splendid features of the cathedral as it is today.