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The Luttrell Psalter: a mirror of medieval life and death

The magnificent plough page from the Psalter (British Library)

with Professor Michelle Brown

No longer cancelled
This will now take place as planned this Saturday

in The Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 28th April, 2012

The Luttrell Psalter is one of the supreme expressions of Gothic art. Remarkably, not only is the patron of the work, Sir Geoffrey Luttrell (1276-1345), lord of the manor of Irnham in Lincolnshire, named in the book, but he, his family, the people who worked his land and the world they knew are depicted in detail on its pages. They are joined by a riot of bizarre grotesques - the forces of chaos waiting to pounce on the unwary and to overturn the divine order in an age when pestilence and famine stalked the land, queens and their lovers overthrew kings, and the peasants were revolting.

Provisional Programme
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 The Luttrell Psalter, an introduction  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Making a medieval manuscript: makers, materials and techniques  
  12.45 Lunch break (bring picnic or eat in NT restaurant)  
  14:00 Reading the Luttrell Psalter and its images  
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 Time exploring the facsimile of the Luttrell Psalter  
  c.16:20 Close  

About Professor Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown, FSA, is Professor of Medieval Manuscript Studies and Course Tutor to the History of the Book MA at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She was formerly the Curator of Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library. She has published, lectured and broadcast widely on the subject of medieval manuscripts and cultural history.

Some suggestions for further reading
(useful but not essential)

The main introduction is Michelle P. Brown, The World of the Luttrell Psalter (London, British Library, 2006)
Alexander, J. J. G. and Binski, P., eds, Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England, 1200-1400, Royal Academy exhibition catalogue, London 1987 (Luttrell Psalter exhibited, no. 217, pp.283-4)
Alexander, J. J. G., Medieval Illuminators and Their Methods of Work, New Haven 1992
Backhouse, J. M., Medieval Rural Life in the Luttrell Psalter, London 2000
Barber, R. and Baker, J., Tournaments, Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages, New York 1989
Bennett, J. M., Women in the English Medieval Countryside, Oxford 1987
Bovey, A., Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts, London 2002
Brown, M. P., The Luttrell Psalter, a facsimile with accompanying commentary, London 2006, Folio Soc. edn and BL trade edn.
Camille, M., 'Labouring for the Lord: the Ploughman and the Social Order in the Luttrell Psalter', Art History 10 (1987), 423-454
Camille, M., Image on the Edge: the Margins of Medieval Art, London 1992
Camille, M., Mirror in Parchment. The Luttrell Psalter and the Making of Medieval England, London 1998
Chancellor, J., The Life and Times of Edward I, London 1981
De Hamel, C., Scribes and Illuminators, London 1992
Duby, G., Art and Society in the Middle Ages, Oxford 1999
Dyer, C., Everyday Life in Medieval England, London & New York 1994, 2000
Girouard, M., Life in the English Country House: A Social and Architectural History, London 1978
Marks R. and Williamson P., eds, Gothic: Art for England, 1400-1547, V&A exhibition catalogue, London 2003
Martin, J. E., Feudalism to Capitalism: Peasant and Landlord in English Agrarian Development, Princeton 1983
Mertes, K., The English Noble Household 1250-1600, Oxford 1988
Mollat, M., The Poor in the Middle Ages, tr. A. Goldhammer, New Haven 1986
Newton, S.M., Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince, Woodbridge 1980
Owen, D. M., Church and Society in Medieval Lincolnshire, Lincoln 1981
Platts, G., Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire, Lincoln 1985
Ruston, A. G. and Witney, D., Hooton Pagnell: the Agricultural Evolution of a Yorkshire Village, London 1934
Sancha, S., The Luttrell Village, London 1982
Sandler, L. F., 'The Word in the Text and the Image in the Margin: the Case of the Luttrell Psalter', Journal of the Walters Art Gallery, Essays in Honour of Lilian M.C. Randall 54 (1996), 87-97
Sandler, L. F., 'The Study of Marginal Imagery: Past, Present and Future', Studies in Iconography 18 (1997), 1-49
Swanson, R. N., Church and Society in Late Medieval England, London 1989


Please phone or email to check the availability of places. Study Days are 38 per person, which includes a full day of lectures, access to the NT site, parking, coffee and tea throughout the day, and access to the NT exhibition. Once you have reserved your place please send a cheque to confirm the booking. For your first booking please complete the application form to ensure that we have recorded your contact details correctly.

Wuffing Education,
4 Hilly Fields,
Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 4DX
tel : 01394 386498

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