50 color plates
6-3/4 x 9-1/2
Beginning with Bede the Venerable’s account of its remarkable founding by St. Augustine, Canterbury Cathedral has long been thought of as one of the greatest literary centers of the Middle Ages. For the first time, The Earliest Books of Canterbury Cathedral presents the entirety of Canterbury’s pre-thirteenth-century volumes—illustrated in full color—including the Alfredian translation of Gregory the Great’s Dialogues, Lanfranc’s gloss on the Epistles, and an extraordinarily grand copy of Peter Comestor’s Historia scholastica. Each manuscript is accompanied by a clear description and a broad-ranging analysis that not only explains the significance of the work in general, but of the Canterbury copy in particular—benefiting scholars of literary and archival history alike. A substantial introduction on the history of book production in Kent and Canterbury prior to the thirteenth century contextualizes the collection as whole and offers information on its development and use in the later Middle Ages, as well as the fate of its books during the course of the Reformation.