Friday, July 13, 2012

New book by Norman Beaupré - Cajetan the Stargazer

Press release: July 16, 2012

Published local author, Norman Beaupré, has just launched his 17th book, a novel dealing with the building of medieval cathedrals. It’s essentially the story of a man called Cajetan who grows up to be a builder of cathedrals having followed the steps from apprentice to journeyman to master architect. He is called Cajetan the Stargazer after his grandfather who was a master sculptor since both he and Cajetan are dreamers with a creative spirit. Cajetan begins his journey as an apprentice in Reims, France then goes on to England to pursue his trade until he is sent to Flanders where he earns the full rank of master architect. Unfortunately, the cathedral he is working on collapses and he must find his own path in cathedral building. He finds it in Évreux, France where he builds his very own cathedral as a master architect. He wants to call it Sainte Marie de la Belle Étoile/Holy Mary of the Beautiful Star.

Prior to his going to Évreux, Cajetan undertakes a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in western Spain where pilgrims went to seek spiritual strength and guidance under the protection of the apostle Saint James who is believed to be buried there.  This pilgrimage is well known and made by many even to this day. The novel also touches upon Cajetan’s sister, Marie Dieudonnée, who becomes the abbess of the famous Fontevraud Abbey in the Loire Valley where Eleanor of Aquitaine spent her last years and is buried in its crypt.  Their brother, Abélard François, pursues the path of actor on the medieval stage, and the novel thus explores medieval theater as well as poetry written and sung by troubadours. The novel gives the reader an open window on the creative arts and literature of the Middle Ages while concentrating on the building of Gothic cathedrals.

Norman Beaupré relied on his copious notes on the Gothic while he was attending a summer seminar on Gothic architecture in the Île-de-France led by Professor Stephen Murray of Columbia University in 1989. Beaupré’s research paper for the National Endowment for the Humanities that sponsored the summer seminar was based on the Green Man in Gothic architecture. He uses some of the findings on the Green Man in his novel. That and much research went into the construction of a highly-readable novel called Cajetan the Stargazer based on history and architecture of the late 13th and early 14th Centuries in Europe.

For more information on Norman Beaupré, visit his website at