The Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the world's greatest works of art in book form. It is an eighth-century Latin Gospelbook with a tenth-century gloss (the earliest surviving translation of the Gospels into the English language). Like all such masterpieces, it repays revisiting. This study seeks to do just that, taking advantage of new photography and technical analysis as well as assessing previous work on the Lindisfarne Gospels in the light of recent studies and archaeological finds.
This was a special book for a special purpose. Its maker was one of the greatest artists of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic worlds, receptive to new influences from around the world and prepared to experiment with new techniques. This new book sets the Lindisfarne Gospels within its socio-historical context, during one of the world's formative periods of transition - from the Graeco-Roman world to that of the early Middle Ages. The melting-pot of the multiethnic British Isles is reflected in the pages of the Lindisfarne Gospels as part of an attempt to achieve a cultural synthesis in which all peoples could find a place. In Northumbria, the rallying point for this new identity was the figure of St Cuthbert, his cult and the role of the church of Lindisfarne playing a vital part in the faith, power and politics of the region. The questions of where and when the Lindisfarne Gospels was made are addressed, but just as importantly the `why' is explored, in the context of new research concerning the technical innovation of its maker, his spiritual motivation and the needs of the society in which he worked.
Dr. Michelle P. Brown, Fsn, is Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at The British Library. She has published and lectured widely on Anglo-Saxon and Celtic books, material culture and history, and upon manuscript production and palaeography throughout the Middle Ages. Her publications include: Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts; The Book of Cerne: Prayer, Patronage and Power in Anglo-Saxon England; A Guide to Western Historical Scripts from Antiquity to 1600; Understanding Illuminated Manuscripts: A Guide to Technical Terms and Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Landisfarne Gospels.
The British Library Studies in Medieval Culture is a well-established series of illustrated monographs and multi-author volumes, taking manuscript studies as a focus for research in all aspects of medieval culture. The series promotes the study of manuscripts within their broader cultural context, encompassing material from the Mediterranean world and northern Europe from late Antiquity to the Renaissance. Produced to a high standard, each volume is heavily illustrated and makes an original and significant contribution to research in its field.
1st edition 2003, Pb, 450pp plus CD included as Appendix 2 of the book, 50 colour and 150 black and white illustrations, 24.6 17.6 cm