Royal Illuminated Manuscripts: Ffrom King Athelstan to Henry VIII

Royal Illuminated Manuscripts: Ffrom King Athelstan to Henry VIII

by Scot McKendrick, Kathleen Doyle


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Before the introduction of printing to Western Europe during the mid-fifteenth century, all books were written by hand. As a result, manuscripts were extremely rare and expensive, particularly those that were illuminated. Decorated with illustrations of brightly colored pigments and burnished gold leaf, illuminated manuscripts were first made by monasteries for their own libraries, but later, as literacy increased, for the visual and literary entertainment of royalty and the wealthy elite.
            Royal Illuminated Manuscripts showcases the illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England from the ninth to the sixteenth century. The forty-one manuscripts featured here, chosen for their beauty and significance, are presented chronologically, beginning in the Anglo-Saxon period and ending in the Tudor period. Accompanying each full-page image is an explanation of its content, symbolism, and provenance, as well as a discussion placing each within the wider context of the tradition of illuminated manuscripts.
            This informative book will serve as an extraordinary introduction to these beautiful and historically significant texts, offering vivid insights into subjects of royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith, and international politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780712358552
Publisher: British Library, The
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Scot McKendrick is head of history and classics at the British Library. He is the author of numerous publications on medieval and earlier manuscripts, including In a Monastery Library, Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts, and Illuminating the Renaissance. Kathleen Doyle is curator of illuminated manuscripts at the British Library. Her previous publications include Bible Manuscripts.

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