Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts
|Author:||Christopher De Hamel|
This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is rather like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a wellknown celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature.
The idea for this book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into an intimate conversation with a selection of the most famous manuscripts in existence, and to let each of those manuscripts illuminate the Middle Ages and sometimes the modern world too. Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts invites the reader to accompany the author on exclusive private visits to a dozen very varied collections, in different parts of the world, to discover twelve great manuscripts and to explore their historical and intellectual significance.
Winner of Wolfson History Prize 2017. Short-listed for Waterstones Book of the Year 2016.
An extraordinary book, a work of scholarship and history salted with the author's excitement as he conducts us among the great libraries of Western civilization. It is full of delights -- Tom Stoppard The intellectual expedition of a lifetime ... This is an endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book. -- Neil MacGregor A book of marvels -- John Banville * Financial Times * Entrancing ... De Hamel's learned adventures amid some of the West's greatest manuscript treasures effortlessly outclass Eco's The Name of the Rose in elegance and excitement. They are also much funnier. -- Diarmaid MacCulloch Reading is my life, but only about once a decade do I find a book that seems to tilt the world, so afterwards it appears different. -- Fiammetta Rocco * The Economist '1843' * De Hamel's book, scholarly but unfailingly readable, is the beginning of wisdom in all things scribal and scriptural - Ian Thomson, The Observer * Ian Thomson, The Observer *
In the course of a long career at Sotheby's Christopher de Hamel has probably handled and catalogued more illuminated manuscripts and over a wider range than any person alive. Since 2000, he has been Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The Parker Library, in his care, includes many of the earliest manuscripts in English language and history. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society.