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Bestiary: Being an English Version of the…

Bestiary: Being an English Version of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS… (1992)

by Richard Barber

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Yeah! That is all I can say at my absolute delight over the fact that this exists. The stories about each animal are fascinating, but the illustrations are actually the reason I bought this. I wanted period sources to use as a basis for embroidery patterns, and so far I used the moons and stars on the backgrounds of one of the pictures to trim a bog dress. I hope that I will use more, because this book is very inspiring. ( )
  the1butterfly | Jul 29, 2007 |
Published from a 13th-Century manuscript by the Folio Society, which can always be counted on for books that are physically beautiful as well as interesting. An introduction discusses some of the history of bestiaries and touches on difficulties faced by the translator.
  lilithcat | Nov 7, 2005 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Barberprimary authorall editionscalculated
Radice, BettyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 085115753X, Paperback)

Bestiaries are a particularly characteristic product of medieval England, and give a unique insight into the medieval mind. Richly illuminated and lavishly produced, they were luxury objects for noble families. Their three-fold purpose was to provide a natural history of birds, beasts and fishes, to draw moral examples from animal behaviour (the industrious bee, the stubborn ass), and to reveal a mystical meaning - the phoenix, for instance, as a symbol ofChrist's resurrection. This Bestiary, MS. Bodley 764, was produced around the middle of the thirteenth century and is of singular beauty and interest. The lively illustrations have the freedom and naturalistic qualityof the later Gothic style, and make dazzling use of colour. This book reproduces the 136 illuminations to the same size and in the same place as the original manuscript, fitting the text around them. Richard Barber's translation from the original Latin is a delight to read, capturing both the serious intent of the manuscript and its charm.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:48 -0400)

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