Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Medieval World

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Medieval World

Article excerpt

The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Early Medieval World. By Michelle P. Brown. (London: The British Library. Distrib. University of Chicago Press. 2011. Pp. vi, 184. $45.00. ISBN 978-0-712-35801-9.)

With the exception of a short section that incorporates some new research on relations (traders and pilgrims) between the British Isles and both the Near and Far East (pp. 44-45) during the seventh and eighth centuries, in terms of its analysis of and conclusions about the Lindisfarne Gospels, there is little here that cannot also be found in Michelle Brown's The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe (Toronto, 2003). The chapter titles here are slightly different, but the material covered is essentially the same: the time, place, and culture in which the book was created; the book's biography: its makers, annotators, and owners from the time of its creation in the late-seventh or early-eighth century to the present; its late-seventh/early-eighth-century Latin text and its tenth-century Old English gloss (Northumbrian dialect); its paleography, orthography, and textual conventions; its art and ornament; its styles, techniques, and principles of design; its place within and its relationship to other forms of art within the Insular tradition; its codicology, both sacred and procedural; and its meaning as an embodiment of the Word of God in connection with the cult of St. Cuthbert in post-Whitby Northumbria.

What distinguishes this work from Brown's earlier study is its presentation, which covers all of the above subjects in 300 fewer pages than the earlier work. …

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