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The Holkham Bible Picture Book and the Making of Medieval Manuscripts

The Holkham Bible - God the Creator (BL Add. MS 47682, fol.2v)

with Professor Michelle Brown

at the Old Court, Sutton Hoo (map)
on Saturday, 6th July 2013

The purpose of the day will be to explore the various processes involved in medieval illuminated manuscript production and briefly to survey some of the project relationships between those who commissioned and made them over the centuries. It will then focus on the unusual case of the maker of the Holkham Bible.
The Holkham Bible is the first 'Poor Man's Bible' in which the biblical narrative is told primarily by images, like a film story-board. It was made in London, in the shadow of St Paul's Cathedral, in the 1330s (on the eve of the Black Death) by a cheeky Cockney artist with attitude who placed himself and his age within the action.

Provisional Programme
(There may be variations to the programme on the day)
  10.00 Coffee on arrival  
  10.15 Makers and users of medieval manuscripts – a survey, part 1  
  11.15 Coffee  
  11.45 Makers and users of medieval manuscripts – a survey, part 2  
  12.45 Lunch break  
  14:00 Materials and techniques of manuscript
  15:00 Tea break  
  15:15 The curious case of the Holkham Bible Picture
Book and its 14th-century London artist
  16:20 Close  

About Professor Michelle Brown

Michelle Brown, FSA, is Professor Emerita of Medieval Manuscript Studies and Course Tutor to the History of the Book MA at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is also a Visiting Professor at University College London and at Baylor University, Texas. 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)

Brown, M. P., Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms (London: The British Library, 1994)
De Hamel, C., A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, 2nd edn (London, 1994)
Brown, M. P., The British Library Guide to Writing and Scripts (London & Toronto: British Library & Toronto University Press, 1998)
de Hamel, C., Scribes and Illuminators (London: British Museum, 1992)
Watson, R., Illuminated Manuscripts and their Makers (London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2003)
Brown, M. P., The Holkham Bible Picture-Book, a facsimile with accompanying commentary, transcription and translation, pp. 90 (Folio Society & British Library: London, 2008), Folio Soc. and BL edns.
For the British Library page of the Holkham Bible:
For the British Library video of the facsimile edition of the Holkham Bible:


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 payment 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

Email cliff AT wuffingeducation.co.uk
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Website www.wuffingeducation.co.uk

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