Wednesday, January 04, 2012

BBC show on The Private Lives Of The Medieval Kings to begin airing next week

In Illuminations: The Private Lives of the Medieval Kings BBC Four will tell the story of the Medieval monarchy as preserved through stunning illuminated manuscripts from the British Library’s Royal Manuscripts collection which contains some of the most priceless documents in the country’s history. Some of these manuscripts were commissioned by the Medieval Kings to burnish their legacies. Others were captured as war booty, and handed down from one dynasty to the next. Together they make up a fascinating record of the role of the king and the role of the country as it became a major power at the heart of Europe. This new 3×60 series presented by renowned art historian Dr Janina Ramirez, and produced by Oxford Film and Television will explore the extraordinary art and culture of the period.

Many important illuminated Royal manuscripts will be captured on film for the first time as part of the BBC’s ongoing collaboration with the British Library and in conjunction with the Library’s latest exhibition, Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination ( Dr Ramirez will decode and contextualise the manuscripts and in doing so will bring the monarchy of the Middle Ages back to life with the help of Library experts and series consultant Dr Scot McKendrick, Head of History and Classics at the British Library and lead curator of the exhibition. Many of these treasures have not been seen for hundreds of years so their secrets are fresh to the modern eye.

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