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The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the…
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The Taymouth Hours: Stories and the Construction of the Self in Late…

by Kathryn Ann Smith

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As enjoyable as it is erudite, this is a book that invites and repays thorough reading. Focusing on one of the most richly illustrated fourteenth-century English manuscripts, the Taymouth Hours (British Library, Yates Thompson MS 13), Kathryn Smith offers a wide-ranging discussion of contemporary politics, religion, literature and art. Mindful of current theoretical approaches, she signals the manuscript’s relevance to investigations of medieval textuality, visuality, memory, identity, gender and the self, while avoiding arbitrary theoretical constructs and self-serving over-interpretation.
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0712358692, Hardcover)

The Taymouth Hours is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic English manuscripts of the later medieval period. It features a remarkable programme of marginal imagery of secular and religious narratives and is replete with portraits of crowned women. Yet the circumstances of the manuscript's commission and the identity of the royal owner have remained elusive. In this, the first comprehensive study of the manuscript, Kathryn A. Smith argues that the Taymouth Hours was commissioned in 1331 by Philippa of Hainault, queen of Edward III, for Edward's sister, the 13-year old Eleanor of Woodstock, on the occasion of her betrothal to Reinald II of Guelders. Through detailed analysis of the manuscript's programme, particularly the relationship between its marginal imagery and the devotional texts which they border, and by embedding the manuscript within the dynamic context of historical, political, religious, cultural and artistic developments in early 14th-century northern Europe, this groundbreaking study explores the ways in which the stories pictured in the Taymouth Hours shaped and affirmed the self of their royal female viewer. (A DVD of the complete manuscript is also included.)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:13 -0400)

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