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Medieval Cats

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  37 ratings  ·  10 reviews
From ancient Egypt to the modern day, cats have been one of the most beloved pets. In fact, images of cats appear extensively in medieval manuscripts, where they are depicted as pets and mousers, appear in bestiaries and marginalia, and are even depicted in religious iconography. This delightful and informative gift book presents a wealth of cat imagery from a variety of m ...more
Hardcover, 89 pages
Published December 15th 2011 by British Library (first published October 15th 2011)
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this person has a phd in medieval petkeeping!
I repeat: this person has a phd in medieval petkeeping!
an inspiration to us all.
Derek Rivard
A great collection of illuminations, anecdotes, literary images of the cat, superstitions about the beloved (and tragically mistrusted) animal, which could be treated like family, or subjected to unimaginable cruelty by village mobs. This helped me make it through the recent death of my own beloved cat Samuel, as well as being a tremendous source good classroom anecdotes.
Frederic Gleach
I'm not a cat person, but I do like medieval illuminations. And honestly I did like the author's Medieval Dogs better. Like that one, this is really intended as a gift-book but has nice, intellectually interesting text mainly concerning medieval conceptions of, in this case, cats. The illustrations are beautiful, and several feature mice along with the cats (some caught, but none gory). I think my favorite tidbit in this one was, "The twelfth-century nun Hildegard of Bingen, in her Liber simplic ...more
Heather Rose
The back cover notes that the author "completed her PhD … on late-medieval pet keeping." This is a small glossy collection of images of cats in medieval manuscripts and art, with brief accompanying text providing context both for the specific images and the place of cats in medieval society. Many artistic cats doing cat-like things such as playing with the dangling spindle of a woman trying to spin, licking its butt with its legs splayed in all directions, reaching through the bars of a bird-cag ...more
A fun little book of medieval MSS cat illustrations, primarily from marginalia, and medieval feline facts and fables. Although I wish there was more commentary (specifically on the iconographic meanings of some of the pictures), it's worth it for any cat lover interested in the Middle Ages.
Such a lovely book! The text discusses cats and their roles in medieval society, and every page has a photograph of a beautiful illuminated text featuring cats. Very delightful!
Came for the beautiful image reproductions, stayed for the great snippets from period works. Favorite thing I learned is that according to some early medieval Irish law text that I need to find, cats that could purr and hunt mice were worth 3 cows. Cats who could only purr were worth 1.5 cows. That's a mighty high value placed on the mere deterrence power of a cat. I'm looking forward to eventually reading the author's thesis on medieval pet-keeping.

"Cuirm lemm, lemlacht la cat."
A small coffee table book with some really neat information and tons of marginalia cats. Most coffee table books don't really have much new information in them for someone who reads a lot, but this is better quality.
loved it, loved it! Fun, Fun, Fun...
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