frank davis memorial lecture series

Royal Manuscripts at the British Library

The Earliest English Royal Books

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

canon tables from Royal tables embellished with decorative arches and columns
Royal MS 1 E VI, (the 'Royal Bible'), f. 4v, detail of the upper half of the canon table, with a zoomorphic decoration in the 'Trewhiddle  Style'; S. E. England, (Canterbury), 1st half of the 9th century. ©The British Library

Speaker(s): Professor Richard Gameson (University of Durham)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor John Lowden (for further information, please contact Dr Jim Harris

This lecture will survey the manuscripts and texts associated with Anglo-Saxon royalty, and will offer general reflections on the nature and meaning of royal books and book collections prior to 1100.

Two thousand manuscripts from the Old Royal library were presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757. About one hundred and fifty of the most richly illuminated will be displayed in a joint British Library/Courtauld Institute of Art exhibition, Royal, at the British Library from 11 November 2011 to 13 March 2012. Taking this extraordinary collection as their starting point, the Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series for 2011 will explore aspects of the patronage, manufacture, function and collection of books in medieval England and France, and will provide a broad context for these precious survivors of the library of the kings and queens of England.

Richard Gameson is Professor of History at the University of Durham and a leading scholar of the history of the book from Antiquity to the Renaissance and of early medieval art. As author and editor he has published some seventy studies on medieval manuscripts, book collections, art and cultural history, including The Earliest Books of Canterbury Cathedral (2008), The Codex Aureus: an Eighth-Century Gospel Book (2001-2), Augustine of Canterbury and the Conversion of England (1999), The Manuscripts of Early Norman England c. 1066-1130 (1999), The Role of Art in the late Anglo-Saxon Church (1995) and The Early Medieval Bible (1994). He is currently editing volume 1 of The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain.

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation

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