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Making Medieval Manuscripts

Christopher de Hamel

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Bodleian Library
10 November 2017
Based mainly on examples in the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated account tells the story of manuscript production from the early Middle Ages to the high Renaissance. Each stage of production is described, from the preparation of the parchment, pens, paints and inks to the writing of the scripts and the illumination of the manuscript.

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.
By:   Christopher de Hamel
Imprint:   Bodleian Library
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 215mm,  Width: 200mm, 
ISBN:   9781851244683
ISBN 10:   1851244689
Pages:   176
Publication Date:   10 November 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

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).

Reviews for Making Medieval Manuscripts

Christopher de Hamel's Making Medieval Manuscripts, a revised edition of his 1992 Scribes and Illuminators, is a copiously--and beautifully-illustrated survey of the materials and techniques used to create handwritten books in the Middle Ages... De Hamel has taken effective advantage of the opportunity to improve the design and illustrative content of the book. For readers who own and refer to the 1992 edition, then, the 2018 edition will be most welcome. --Lisa Fagin Davis The Medieval Review Written in a lively and enjoyable style and including examples spanning the early Middle Ages through the Renaissance, Making Medieval Manuscripts is an informative account of the process of how medieval books were created. -- Choice


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