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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Book of Hours (Use of Sarum)

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This fourteenth-century English Book of Hours is illustrated with several full-page portraits of saints at the beginning of the book, with the main text frequently accompanied by illuminated borders, marginalia and initials. The inclusion in the calendar of St Botulph (17 June) and St Hugh (17 November and his translation on 6 October, both written in red) suggests that the book was produced originally for use in the East Midlands, perhaps Lincoln. However, additions to the calendar in the early fourteenth century of Winwaloe (3 March) and Ethelbert (21 May) point to East Anglia - and the Litany (ff. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(180);return false;'>87r-92r</a> has stronger Fenland (and in particular Diocese of Ely and Huntingdonshire) features: Edmund is placed high among the martyrs; Felix, Neot, Botulph, Ivo and Brendan among the confessors; and Etheldreda, Withburga and Sexburga among the virgins. These and other discrepancies suggest a development from Lincoln/East Midlands usage to Fenland usage, the miniatures and Calendar coming from the first stage of completion, and the remainder from the last, with the Litany dating to after 1320. The addition to the calendar of the names of the book's owners, Alice de Reydon, and John and Matilda Stranle, with their birth and/or death dates, tells a story of continual spiritual practice and personal devotion as the manuscript was passed from hand to hand. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'>This item was included in the Library’s 600th anniversary exhibition <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''><i>Lines of Thought: Discoveries that changed the world</i></a>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Revised and expanded by<br /> Dr James Freeman<br /> Medieval Manuscripts Specialist<br /> Cambridge University Library</p>

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