The Gilded Page: The Secret Lives of Medieval Manuscripts

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Medieval manuscripts are full of interesting information, not just what was considered important enough to write down, but often those undertaking the transcribing left notes in the margins about their lives, opinions, and what was happening in their world. This book attempts to reclaim those lives and to delve into the people behind the manuscripts, although falls short on both accounts.

One of my main issues is the style of writing. It feels like the author is trying to talk to the reader sitting in a pub and discussing interesting tidbits, and it really falls flat because nothing is ever truly fleshed out. It are a lot of short antidotes, short histories, and a quick discovery until we move on to the next book, manuscript, and era.

The era of the medieval manuscript stretched from the fall of the western Roman Empire through to the invention of the printing press nearly five hundred years later. This was a time when books were treasured and most people could not read. But it seems that trying to unearth the backstories of those who worked on the books deserves no more than a glance in different eras as we quickly move through them.


Reviewed By:

Author Mary Wellesley
Star Count 2/5
Format Hard
Page Count 352 pages
Publisher Basic Books
Publish Date 12-Oct-2021
ISBN 9781541675087
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2022
Category History
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