Friday, November 11, 2011

Queen opens British Library manuscripts exhibition

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.

Click here to read this article from the BBC

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