A Window into the Devotions of Sixteenth-Century Reader

A Window into the Devotions of Sixteenth-Century Reader

This colourful frontispiece is reminiscent of a medieval stained glass window, an effect created by nine postage stamp-sized printed images, surmounted by Gothic style architectural forms with floriated dividers. The frontispiece has been added to the original vellum flyleaf of a beautifully crafted fifteenth-century manuscript Bible from the Cathedral Library’s collection (H/N-2-1); the images that customise it have been taken…
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Picture This: Elizabeth’s legacy

Picture This: Elizabeth’s legacy

Elizabeth I’s Enduring Legacy: Monarchy and Parliamentary Discourse in the late 17th Century  A Compleat Journal of the Votes, Speeches and Debates, Both of the House of Lords and House of Commons Throughout the Reign of Elizabeth, Of Glorious Memory (Printed 1693): Canterbury Cathedral Library, W/H-6-3 This month’s illustration depicts a scene which is still recognisable as a representation of…
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Summer Blooms – A Wonderful Transformation

Summer Blooms – A Wonderful Transformation

These intricate, coloured frontispieces introduce two volumes (1679 and 1683) of German-born Maria Sybilla Merian’s second published work Der Raupen Wunderbare Vervandeling und Sonderbare Blumen-nahrung (The Wonderful Transformation and Singular Plant-Food of Caterpillars). Female artists in the late seventeenth century were not unheard of; however, they did not enjoy the general freedom of subject matter, or the public appeal, of…
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The Ultimate Work-Life Balance? Receiving, Reading, Writing and Delivering the Word of God

The Ultimate Work-Life Balance? Receiving, Reading, Writing and Delivering the Word of God

John Boys, Works (1629) Canterbury Cathedral Library W/K-4-5 When John Boys, Dean of Canterbury (1619-25) gathered and selected his collection of sermons for publication, he most certainly also designed the frontispiece of his book, commissioning the execution of it to an engraver. However his design would have fitted within accepted framework and principles. What we are presented with here is…
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In the beginning…there were spheres of angels

In the beginning…there were spheres of angels

Canterbury Cathedral Library W/S-18-1 This is not the first time the Nuremberg Chronicle has featured in ‘Picture this…’ and given that it is a ‘monster book’ (see Diane Heath’s article –http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org/2013/10/01/a-hell-of-a-ride/ ) it is unlikely to be the last. This month the Chronicle is one of three books from the Cathedral Library to go out on loan to the Turner…
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Celebrating Shakespeare 400: Faces and Folios

Celebrating Shakespeare 400: Faces and Folios

Mr William Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies. : Published according to the true originall copies. London : printed by Tho. Cotes, for Robert Allot, 1632 Canterbury Cathedral Library H/O-4-24   “I have heard of your paintings too, well enough. God has given you one face, and you make yourselves another.”                                                                                              (Hamlet, act III, scene I) With these words,…
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Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves

Wise as Serpents and Innocent as Doves

The Embroidered Cover of the Symonds’ Book of Common Prayer This edition of the Book of Common Prayer was printed by Robert Barker of London in 1638. An object of domestic devotional practice, it is palm-sized, meant to be carried around for ease of consultation. It was probably issued unbound, as was common practice for Books of Common Prayer, in…
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What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

Adam names the animals in the Canterbury Cathedral Bestiary This appealing and vibrant illustration of Adam naming the animals and birds which surround him appears in CCA Lit Ms D.10 (now fol. 7v but originally fol. 121v). There is no evidence as to how and when the book housing this folio came to be in the Cathedral Archives but its…
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Ovid’s Metamorphosis: Wrestling with Change

Ovid’s Metamorphosis: Wrestling with Change

Getting through January can seem a Herculean task, so we hope that the following article gives you a helping hand. Best wishes for a Happy New Year, Karen and Jayne.   Ovid’s Metamorphosis Englished, mythologized and represented in figures. [with] an essay to the translation of Virgil’s Aeneis (Printed by J.L. for Andrew Hebb, 1640) Templeman Library, Special Collections, qC 640.OVI…
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The Humble Potato: or, an exotic Christmas

The Humble Potato: or, an exotic Christmas

Dear ‘Picture this…’ readers, In an abundance of puns Karen Brayshaw and I invite you to tuck into this tasty article as our Christmas offering to you. Many thanks to you all for your continued support and kind messages, here’s wishing you a joyful Christmas. Jayne Wackett (Editor) The herball or generall historie of plantes. … by John Gerarde … London…
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