frank davis memorial lecture series



Royal Manuscripts at the British Library

The Library and the Architecture of the Book: Manuscripts in the Secular World from 1400 to 1650

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

17.30 - 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Saint Jerome in his study at his desk shaped like a church, surrounded by illuminated lettering and motifs
Saint Jerome in his Study,
f.50v from the Great Bible, England, 1st quarter of the 15th century. © The British Library Board, Royal 1 E IX

Speaker(s): Dr John Goodall (Architectural Editor, Country Life)

Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Professor John Lowden (for further information, please contact Dr Jim Harris jim.harris@courtauld.ac.uk)

Working from the available architectural and physical evidence, this lecture will discuss the ways in which books were stored and used in a domestic context in England from 1400 to 1600.




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 Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, 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.

John Goodall trained as a historian and architectural historian at Durham University and The Courtauld Institute of Art and is Architectural Editor of Country Life, whose former saleroom correspondent is commemorated by these lectures. His scholarship on the domestic architecture of the English middle ages encompasses a wide range of subjects in terms of scale, function and date. His monograph on the foundation of Alice, duchess of Suffolk, God's House at Ewelme: Life, Devotion and Architecture in a Fifteenth-Century Almshouse, was awarded the Whitfield Prize by the Royal Historical Society in 2001, whilst more recently he has published a major study of the most substantial of all medieval dwellings, The English Castle (Yale/Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, 2011).

Sponsored by the FM Kirby Foundation



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