Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts: Twelve Journeys Into the Medieval World (Hardcover)
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An extraordinary and beautifully illustrated exploration of the medieval world through twelve manuscripts, from one of the world's leading experts. Winner of The Wolfson History Prize and The Duff Cooper Prize. A San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Book Gift Guide Pick Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts is a captivating examination of twelve illuminated manuscripts from the medieval period. Noted authority Christopher de Hamel invites the reader into intimate conversations with these texts to explore what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and about the modern world, too. In so doing, de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, and collectors. He traces the elaborate journeys that these exceptionally precious artifacts have made through time and shows us how they have been copied, how they have been embroiled in politics, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and as symbols of national identity, and who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell). From the earliest book in medieval England to the incomparable Book of Kells to the oldest manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, these encounters tell a narrative of intellectual culture and art over the course of a millennium. Two of the manuscripts visited are now in libraries of North America, the Morgan Library in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts allows us to experience some of the greatest works of art in our culture to give us a different perspective on history and on how we come by knowledge.
About the Author
Christopher de Hamel is perhaps the best-known writer on medieval manuscripts in the world. In the course of a long career at Sotheby's he catalogued more illuminated manuscripts than any other person alive, and very possibly more than any one individual has ever done. Christopher de Hamel is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; he was until recently librarian of Parker Library in Cambridge, a collection which includes many, even most, of the earliest manuscripts in English language and history. De Hamel lives in London and Cambridge.