Things I've picked up along the way...

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is rather diabolical…. every now and again I like to throw a curve ball! This is a leaf from a thirteenth century herbal. I am assured by the British Library’s catalogue record that the big fish thing is actually meant to depict a sperm whale, and that the plants are kinds of birthwort. Don’t go taking those glorious high status books for granted now!
Actually don’t let me mislead you. It’s actually a rather glorious book, and very practical with instructions for various salves and treatments, plus helpful illustrations to help the reader recognise plants. However it is fair to admit that the quality of the illustration is rather less than the other books we’ve looked at of late. It is thought to have belonged to the King of Sicily in the thirteenth century.
Image source: British Library MS Egerton 747. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is rather diabolical…. every now and again I like to throw a curve ball! This is a leaf from a thirteenth century herbal. I am assured by the British Library’s catalogue record that the big fish thing is actually meant to depict a sperm whale, and that the plants are kinds of birthwort. Don’t go taking those glorious high status books for granted now!

Actually don’t let me mislead you. It’s actually a rather glorious book, and very practical with instructions for various salves and treatments, plus helpful illustrations to help the reader recognise plants. However it is fair to admit that the quality of the illustration is rather less than the other books we’ve looked at of late. It is thought to have belonged to the King of Sicily in the thirteenth century.

Image source: British Library MS Egerton 747. Image declared as public domain on the British Library website.

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