Illuminated manuscripts are among the richest and most revealing relics of the pre-print Western world, and are central to our understanding of medieval social and cultural history. The British Library boasts the world's finest collection of medieval manuscripts, and in this new and lavishly illustrated survey, Janet Backhouse draws on these collections to provide a comprehensive introduction to these exciting and colourful materials.
The manuscripts featured include bestiaries, psalters, Bibles, books of hours, and medical and herbal collections that originated in workrooms as geographically diverse as the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria and the Crusader kingdom of Jerusalem. There is also a great chronological diversity among the selected manuscripts, with examples ranging from the seventh century AD and the Lindisfarne Gospels to early Renaissance offerings.
Each of the almost 220 illluminations presented are accompanied by a caption and have been reproduced in colour. Many of the immages chosen have been reproduced here for the first time.
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Janet Backhouse is an internationally respected manuscript expert and former Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at The British Library.
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