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Scribes and Illuminators

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  133 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Illuminated manuscripts survive in great numbers from the Middle Ages. They are often beautifully preserved, enabling us to appreciate the skilled design and craftsmanship of the people who created them.

Christopher de Hamel describes each stage of production from the preparation of the vellum, pens, paints and inks to the writing of the scripts and the final decoration and
Paperback, 72 pages
Published May 19th 1992 by University of Toronto Press
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Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book at work and several people who walked by exclaimed, "Oh, I LOVE that book." It is a very lovable book. It's hard not to adore De Hamel, who writes lovingly about the way that gold can be beat so thin that you can straighten it out with a puff of air, or gives you the delightful tidbit that dragonsblood red was not just the blood of dragons, but the blood of dragons and elephants who mortally wounded each other in combat, or who takes pictures of oak galls in his aunt's yard, or ...more
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Finally getting to this after reading The Illuminator. The subject was interesting, but I'll need another book to truly grasp bookmaking in medieval times. It is only 70 pages after all. I don't want to read, (again) 2/3 of the way through "we aren't covering that in this monograph." Just cover what you're going to cover, already! I thought it was a translation it was so oddly worded. Some things explained in great detail and others just thrown out there. The back cover makes it sound like this ...more
J.S. Graustein
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book provided an entertaining, quick overview of the entire bookmaking process in the Middle Ages. While not a comprehensive "how to" book, it introduced me to many terms and concepts I had never heard of before, giving me the vocabulary I will need to further my study in the craft of bookmaking. It also includes a small glossary and suggested reading list. This book is filled with photographs, so if you are a visual learner or just want to better appreciate the artistry of medieval books, ...more
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely introduction to how medieval manuscripts are made, although perhaps the title can be a bit misleading. There is some discussion of who scribes and illuminators were, but more discussion went into technical discussions of the "life of a manuscript," which fascinated me none the less.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful illustrations. I eat this stuff up: quill, parchment, lonely scribe by the fire. Answers the critical questions: how long did it take to make a book? How big were people's libraries in the 1400s. How is parchment really made?
Jan 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, writing
This is a delightfully readable text about the early history of books. Full-color photographs illustrate the concepts well.
better than i expected!
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly, not a terrible read for a school assignment on a usually dry subject. The brevity of explanations and images made it actually enjoyable to learn about medieval book making.
Oct 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic
Detailed monograph about the art of illumination.
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Dr Christopher de Hamel is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and is Fellow Librarian of the Parker Library, one of the most important small collections of early manuscripts in Britain. For 25 years from 1975 he was responsible for all sales of medieval manuscripts at Sotheby’s. He has doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge and honorary doctorates from St John’s University, Collegeville, ...more
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