HIDDEN HANDS: The Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers

Book number: 92183 Product format: Paperback Author: MARY WELLESLEY

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Bibliophile price £7.00
Published price £12.99

From the St. Cuthbert Gospel to the Luttrell Psalter, from Beowulf to Chaucer, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Malory, and the Paston Letters, Mary Wellesley tells us about the authors but more importantly introduces us to the artists, the ink-makers, vellum preparers and pigment grinders and all the others who contributed their different gifts to these great communal manuscript achievements. Immersive, conversational and intensely visual, full of gorgeous illustrations and shimmering description, Wellesley explores the lives of medieval manuscripts and the men and importantly women who made them in a book that brings you into the heart's core of literature. Here are the scribes and patrons, illuminators and parchment makers and the bonds across the centuries between the author and the men and women who made the manuscripts; few people have described the experience so eloquently as this talented historian. She tells the story of those who made and kept the beautiful, fragile objects that have survived the ravages of fire, water and deliberate destruction to form a picture of both English culture and the wider European culture of which it is part. Without manuscripts she shows many historical figures would be lost to us, as well as those of lower social status, women and people of colour, their stories erased and the remnants of their labours destroyed. Wellesley describes the production and preservation of these priceless objects and has an insistent emphasis on the early role of women as authors and artists. 50 colour plates, 367pp, paperback.

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ISBN 9781529400946

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