SKU: BK2972

Many beautiful illuminated manuscripts survive from the Middle Ages and can be seen in libraries and museums throughout Europe. But who were the skilled craftsmen who made these exquisite books? What precisely is parchment?  How were medieval manuscripts designed and executed? What were the inks and pigments, and how were they applied? This book looks at the work of scribes, illuminators and book binders.

Based principally on examples in the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated account tells the story of manuscript production from the early Middle Ages through to the high Renaissance. Each stage of production is described in detail, from the preparation of the parchment, pens, paints and inks to the writing of the scripts and the final decoration and illumination of the manuscript. This book also explains the role of the stationer or bookshop, often to be found near cathedral and market squares, in the commissioning of manuscripts, and it cites examples of specific scribes and illuminators who can be identified through their work as professional lay artisans.

Christopher de Hamel’s engaging text is accompanied by a glossary of key technical terms relating to manuscripts and illumination, providing an invaluable introduction for anyone interested in studying medieval manuscripts today.

Christopher de Hamel, formerly of Sotheby’s, is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He is the author of Bibles (Bodleian, 2011), and his most recent book is Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts (Allen Lane, 2016).

  • Paperback with flaps
  • 176 pages, 215 x 200 mm
  • ISBN: 9781851244683
  • Publication November 2017

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