Writing in Context

Insular Manuscript Culture 500-1200

Editor: Erik Kwakkel

About this book

This book comprises six essays by prominent scholars of medieval Insular manuscripts. The main emphasis is on the physical appearance of books, though writing on and in other objects is also discussed. The essays highlight, in different ways, the tight relationship between the palaeographical and codicological features of manuscripts and the culture in which the objects were produced and used. Extending their expertise to a broad audience interested in the medieval book, the contributors discuss various aspects of written culture, including the development of Insular scripts, book culture in Mercia, the layout of Anglo-Saxon charters, and the transition from Anglo-Saxon to Norman-inspired script and book production.

Contributions by Michelle Brown, David Dumville, Mary Garrison, Kathryn Lowe, Francis Newton and Teresa Webber.


Erik Kwakkel is Associate Professor in palaeography at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society and Principal Investigator of the NWO-funded research project ‘Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance’. His publications include monographs, edited volumes and articles devoted to medieval script and codicology.


“This collection represents a very valuable contribution to our understanding of early book history in its most capacious sense.” – Elaine Treharne, Professor of English, Stanford University.


“This is a strong collection of essays. The broad topic of the materiality of Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman manuscripts is capacious enough to happily embrace the diversity on offer here and yet tight enough to give some kind of chronological, geographical, and methodological cohesion. […] All in all, this is an interesting volume that contributes to a burgeoning field of manuscript materiality in relation to medieval studies.” – Jonathan Wilcox, Professor of English, University of Iowa.

Format: Paperback

Pages: 320

Illustrated: Yes

ISBN Print: 9789087281823

ISBN ePUB: 9789400601284

ISBN ePDF: 9789400601277

Published: 7 September 2013

Language: English

Keywords: ,

Category: ,

Price 42.00

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