Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts is a remarkable examination of 12 illuminated manuscripts from the medieval period. Noted authority Christopher de Hamel invites the listener into intimate conversations with these texts to explore what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and sometimes about the modern world too.
In so doing, de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, and collectors. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artifacts have made through time, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and as symbols of national identity.
From the earliest book in medieval England to the incomparable Book of Kells to the oldest manuscript of The Canterbury Tales, these encounters tell a narrative of intellectual culture and art over the course of a millennium. Two of the manuscripts visited are now in libraries of North America, the Morgan Library in New York and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
This is a wonderful read for anyone with the slightest interest in medieval manuscripts, or even in books in general. It is read by the author charmingly and clearly, and his narration adds immeasurably to the pleasure of listening to the book.