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Medieval Cats (hardback)

Published Date:
October 2011
British Library Publishing
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 96 pages, 190 x 150mm, 75 colour illustrations
Katherine Walker-Meikle
Free UK P&P for orders over £15

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A celebration of cats and their depiction in medieval manuscripts. They are depicted in a number of ways: as pets, as mousers, in bestiaries, in marginalia and in other surprising images – for example, depictions of cats in religious iconography. This charming gift book presents a wealth of cat imagery from a wide variety of medieval animal sources and will have a wide appeal for cat lovers everywhere. The text is peppered with fascinating facts about the medieval view of cats and amusing anecdotes about people and their pets in the Middle Ages.

Here is an extract from the book: 'Cats often had full rein of the dining hall, a situation which books of courtesy despaired of, asking that owners refrain from petting cats sitting on tables. They also invaded bedrooms, for which the Boke of Nurture asked with little success that the owner “dryve out dogge and catte, or els geve them a clout”.'
Featured manuscripts include the Luttrell Psalter, Sforza Hours, The Oscott Psalter, Hours of the Virgin and the Queen Mary Psalter.

About the author
Kathleen Walker-Meikle completed her PhD at University College London on late medieval pet keeping. She is now a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the University of York, studying animal bites and venoms in medieval medicine.

`Medieval Cats is a beautiful little book that looks at the position of the cat in society during that period, as depicted in manuscripts, bestiaries, marginalia and religious iconography.` Wet Ink `...[a] delightful pictorial homage to the medieval moggy... The accompanying texts paint an equally vivid portrait of the social and symbolic significance of cats in the Middle Ages.` The West Australian

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