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Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Great Lost Library of England’s Kings (British Library)

The Great Lost Library of England’s Kings (British Library)The post-Conquest kings of England were kleptomaniacs: collectors of books as of all other sorts of precious objects. Their lavish literary patronage accounts for the survival of much of what we have by way of English historical, religious or scientific writing after 1066. Yet the 'royal' manuscripts gathered and displayed at the British Library only hint at the great collection of books that went before.
One of our finest historians of the central Middle Ages, Nicholas Vincent, investigates the what might have been the composition and fate of this library, painting a provocative and approachable portrait of the reading habits of Kings from 1066 to 1272, from William the Conqueror to Henry III

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