Cover Crush: Meeting with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher De Hamel

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I am not a cover designer but I can agree that cover layouts play an important role in the overall presentation of stories and I must admit, often times I first judge a book by its cover.

Meeting with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher De HamelAbout the Book:

Hardcover, 640 pages

Published September 22nd 2016 by Allen Lane

This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature.

The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history – and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artifacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste.

Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book.

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary.

My thoughts:

I believe I stumbled upon the cover on Instagram. The image is beautiful and love the soft tones of the background. I wonder where the image of the tree comes from?

Stephanie M. Hopkins

Other great cover crushes from my fellow book bloggers: 

Magdalena at A Bookaholic Swede
Colleen at A Literary Vacation
Heather at The Maiden’s Court
Holly at 2 Kids and Tired
Meghan at Of Quills & Vellum



2 thoughts on “Cover Crush: Meeting with Remarkable Manuscripts by Christopher De Hamel

  1. I agree. And as an art history instructor, I expect a writer about the visual arts to document ALL the visual sources they use somewhere in the text.
    I’ve not had access to the whole book, but the segment in Amazon shows a listing for the frontispiece (from the <>) but not the cover.
    Sooooo frustrating!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S., after posting: The segment in the should have read “the Heures de Jeanne de Navarre,” another issue for those of us who work with visual and verbal sources in other languages! I was trying to use the quotes as they should be used for a title in French. Guess WordPress isn’t bilingual…yet.

    Liked by 1 person

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