Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination


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Illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England from the 9th to the 16th century form the heart of a unique and visually stunning collection held by the British Library. A key figure in the formation of the collection is King Edward IV (1461-1483), who commissioned luxury manuscripts decorated with his arms. Subsequent monarchs added to this library, which was given to the nation by George II in 1757. Over 150 examples from this exceptional collection are presented in this catalog which accompanies a major British Library exhibition of the same name. These manuscripts contain paintings produced by some of the finest artists of the Middle Ages and together provide the most vivid surviving source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith, and international politics. The catalog features a full-page entry of around 750 words on each manuscript included, as well as three illustrated essays which explore the wider history and context of this unique collection. It will also be lavishly illustrated, with a beautiful reproduction of an image from each manuscript presented alongside the text for every entry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780712358163
Publisher: British Library Publishing
Publication date: 02/15/2012
Pages: 448
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 11.40(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Scot McKendrick is Head of History and Classics at the British Library. John Lowden is Director of the Research Centre for Illuminated Manuscripts of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London. Kathleen Doyle is Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library.

Table of Contents

Lenders to the Exhibition
Picture Credits
Notes to the Reader
Contributors to the Catalogue
Regnal Dates
      Scot McKendrick

The Royal Manuscript as Idea and Object
      John Lowden
A European Heritage: Books of Continental Origin collected by the English Royal Family from Edward III to Henry VIII
      Scot McKendrick
The Old Royal Library: ‘A greate many noble manuscripts yet remaining'
      Kathleen Doyle
The Catalogue
The Christian Monarch
Edward IV: Founder of the Old Royal Library
How to be a King: Works of Instruction and Advice
The World’s Knowledge
Royal Identity
England and the Continent: Affinity and Appropriation

Bibliographies to the Catalogue Entries
General Index
Index of Manuscripts

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Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
carrobin More than 1 year ago
With quite a few beautiful books full of illuminated manuscript illustrations, I was happy to receive this one for my groaning bookshelves. Of course, the British Library is where you go for high quality. I only wish I had the time to sit down and read it all the way through--but just opening it to examine the fantastic and colorful pictures is a delight.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A goldmine of details about English history and life of the period. Travel back in time a few centuries...