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Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (hardback)

Published Date:
November 2011
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 448 pages, 288 x 230mm, 300 colour illustrations
Scot McKendrick, John Lowden, Kathleen Doyle
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

Illuminated manuscripts collected by the kings and queens of England from the 9th to the 16th century form the heart of a unique and visually stunning collection held by the British Library. A key figure in the formation of the collection is King Edward IV (1461 – 1483), who commissioned luxury illuminated manuscripts decorated with his arms. Subsequent monarchs added to this library, which was given to the nation by George II in 1757.

Over 150 examples from this exceptional collection are presented in this catalogue, which accompanied the major British Library exhibition, Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination. These manuscripts contain paintings produced by some of the finest artists of the Middle Ages and together provide the most vivid surviving source for understanding royal identity, moral and religious beliefs, learning, faith and international politics.

The catalogue features a full-page entry of around 750 words on each manuscript included, as well as three illustrated essays which explore the wider history and context of this unique collection. It is lavishly illustrated, with a beautiful reproduction of an image from each manuscript presented alongside the text for every entry.

About the authors
Scot McKendrick is Head of History and Classics at the British Library.

John Lowden is Director of the Research Centre for Illuminated Manuscripts of the Courtauld Institute of Art at the University of London.

Kathleen Doyle is Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library.

Please note the paperback edition of this book is now out of print.

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