The Queen has opened a British Library exhibition featuring manuscripts which belonged to medieval kings and queens. The Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination contains 154 items, including manuals on how to behave.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had a private viewing of five manuscripts on display at the London exhibition. They included monarchs' prayer books, a charter commemorating the start of monastic rule of St Benedict in 964 and books made for King Edward IV.
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Forget Blackadder, turnips and the Black Death: medieval England was extremely sophisticated
There's a tendency to think of the medieval English living an archaic, primitive, Blackadder sort of life: a lot of knobbly-faced peasants rotating crops, marrying at 12, before succumbing to their first bubons in the armpit at 15.
An exhibition opening at the British Library today, Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, puts that right. Not only are the 154 gilded books on display extraordinarily beautiful – and in fresh, glittering condition – but they also show how sophisticated medieval England was. Pictured is Winchester's New Minster Charter, an Anglo-Saxon manuscript, gilded a century before William the Conqueror turned up. The workmanship and the colour are extremely advanced.
Click here to read this article from the Daily Telegraph