"impressively erudite, refreshingly undogmatic, and delightfully discursive… It will make many readers rush to see its subject for themselves."
"Ball presents an impressive amount of technical information in lucid and engaging form. There is no better general introduction to the subject."
Wall Street Journal
"a compelling book… unfolds the mysteries of Chartres in all their complex involutions."
"lucid and resplendent… His section on how to build your own medieval cathedral, backed up by stylish diagrams, is a model of explanatory writing. The impulse, after finishing Ball’s book, to catch the next Eurostar, and head out to Chartres from Paris, is strong."
"a refreshingly sceptical guided tour of Chartres Cathedral and the intellectual contexts that helped produce it."
"[A] lively biography...Ball’s account of [Chartres cathedral’s] construction reveals fascinating details....and evokes its raison d’être..."
"A tour de force of thoroughness and clarity… You can learn more about medieval architecture from Universe of Stone than from many general books on the Gothic style."
Royal Academy Magazine
"A lucid, thoughtful tour de force… a fascinating book with important insights and observations on every page… Most readers, upon finishing this terrific book, will undoubtedly want to visit the great cathedral themselves."
Christian Science Monitor
"wide-ranging and excellently illustrated… an original and imaginative synthesis of art history and history of science."