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Anathema!: Medieval Scribes and the History of Book Curses

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  24 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Hardcover, 137 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Allanheld & Schram
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Autumn
Aug 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A wonderful, humorous book about the curses medieval scribes put at the end of their manuscripts. Includes a brief description of how the manuscripts were created and why they were valuable, and a whole lot of curses themselves. I would recommend to anyone interested in books, medieval or otherwise. It makes you appreciate how easy it is to access books in the 21st century. My favourite curse is below.

Who folds a leafe downe
ye divel toaste browne,
Who makes marke or blotte
ye divel roate hot
Who s
...more
Jay
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mabon-2016-2017
A fantastic read! Mixed with humor and wit, this book tells a history of the manuscript, its role in medieval society, and of the life of those responsible for their creation, most often scribes in monasteries. From there, the author describes the nature of book curses and why the scribe, after carefully spending months or years on a single manuscript, would take the time to lay upon the book they had just completed. A unique history of the book, lovingly and hilariously told.
Janet
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I’ve known--vaguely--about book curses for quite a while, but what really piqued my interest was an article from Atlas Obscura (http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/...) a coworker shared recently, which mentions Drogin’s book. His writing style is personable and he does an excellent job of bringing history to life without resorting to scholarly jargon. History buffs, word nerds, and bibliophiles might want to give this one a try.
Tamara
Awesome! May everyone who never returned books to me be devoured by killer pigs of the Rhine!

It does give a sense both of how inacessible information was then, (a library might consists of...two volumes) but also of the way society did tick along, with systems in place for copying and borrowing books, complete with etiquette, convention, humor, frustration, etc.
Bethany
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Mar 04, 2017
CyberSp00k
rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2017
Rebecca
Charming book of curses. "If anyone steals this book may he come to the gallows or the rope of Judas."

I didn't read it in detail, so want to come back to this. (So many books, so little time.)
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Marc Drogin (1936 - February 6, 2017) was an American writer and illustrator.[
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