New Publication: ‘Beyond Words: New Research on Manuscripts in Boston Collections’, edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Lisa Fagin Davis, Anne-Marie Eze, Nancy Netzer, and William P. Stoneman


In the fall of 2016 an international scholarly conference accompanied the exhibition Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. The speakers were chosen because of their expertise and because they were known to have research underway pertaining to important manuscripts in the exhibition. The aim of both exhibition and conference was to provide a broad overview of the history of patronage and book production over the course of the High and late Middle Ages, to the extent that the eclectic holdings of Boston-area institutions permitted. Most of the papers delivered at the conference have been collected as essays in this abundantly illustrated volume which, while still linked to the exhibition, now has an independent purpose.

Just as the essays cover a wide range of topics, all relating to the history of the book, but also, inter alia, to the history of law, liturgy, literature, and libraries as well as to devotion, theology, and art, so too the approaches adopted by the contributors are as varied as the materials they study, ranging from paleography, codicology, and provenance research to painstaking reconstructions of historical patterns of patronage and the interpretative strategies of authors and artists. What results is not simply a wealth of fascinating insights into individual illuminated books, their makers, and their readers, but also an indication of how much remains to be learned about the materials to which the exhibition served as no more than an introduction.

Table of Contents

List of Figures • vii
Contributors • xxvi
Abbreviations • xxx

Introduction • JEFFREY F. HAMBURGER • xxxi

Monastic Manuscripts
1 • Gilbert de la Porrée: The Man and His Manuscripts • PATRICIA STIRNEMANN • 1
2 • Writing Culture and Society over the longue durée: The Charters of Sawley Abbey, from Medieval Yorkshire to Present-Day Harvard, Houghton Library • BRIGITTE MIRIAM BEDOS-REZAK • 13
3 • Boston Public Library MS q Med. 86 in the Context of Manuscript Production in Delft • KATHRYN M. RUDY • 35

Courtly Culture and Patronage
4 • Jean Bourdichon’s Boston Hours and the Miniature-as-Object • NICHOLAS HERMAN • 59
5 • Rereading Boccaccio in Étienne Chevalier’s Les cents nouvelles (Houghton Library, MS Richardson 31) • ANNE D. HEDEMAN • 77
6 • Picturing and Collecting Virgil in Mid-Fifteenth Century France • CHRISTINE SEIDEL • 99
7 • Vicarious Entertainment for the Mature Aristocrat and Bibliophile Louis of Gruuthuse (Houghton Library, MSS Typ 129 and 130) • SCOT McKENDRICK • 115
8 • Court Patronage in Renaissance Italy: Hercules in Illuminated Manuscripts Given as Diplomatic Gifts • FEDERICA TONIOLO • 137

Princes, Patricians, Prelates, and Pontiffs
9 • Illumination in Rome and L’Aquila during the Schism and in Florence during the Council: Artists and Patrons of the Calderini Pontifical (Harvard, Houghton Library, MS Typ 1) • FRANCESCA MANZARI • 153
10 • Niccolò da Ferrara’s Polistorio (Houghton Library, MS Typ 329): New Proposals on Don Simone Camaldolese and Mantuan Artistic Culture on the Eve of the Renaissance • ADA LABRIOLA • 177
11 • Cristoforo Cortese and the Donato Master: Venetian Liturgical Manuscripts in American Collections • LILIAN ARMSTRONG • 195
12 • Illuminating Law and Order in Venice • HELENA K. SZÉPE • 213

Illuminating History
13 • Kings as Kin: Picturing the English Monarchy in Houghton Library, MS Typ 11 • ALIXE BOVEY • 237
14 • The Shapes of History: Houghton Library, MS Richardson 35 and Chronicles of England in Codex and Roll • SONJA DRIMMER • 253
15 • Hannibal’s Journey: Ancient History, Material Philology, Medieval Illumination • JESSICA BERENBEIM • 269

Manuscripts in the Modern Era
16 • Medieval Manuscripts from the Collection of Captain Jack Ball • PETER KIDD • 283

Notes • 301
Index of Manuscripts • 351
General Index • 355

For information on how to order, please visit the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies’ website.


Published by charlottecook

Charlotte Cook graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in European History from Washington & Lee University in 2019. In 2020 she received her Master’s degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, earning the classification of Merit. Her research explores questions of royal patronage, both by and in honor of rulers, in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England. She has worked as a researcher and collections assistant at several museums and galleries, and plans to begin her PhD in the autumn of 2022.

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