Dr Jenny Stratford (IHR) and Dr Rowan Watson (V&A)
Full day, from 10.00 to 17.00
Maximum: 12 students
Venue: Senate House

One or two-day course. It is possible to take day one only of this course. The second day of this course is only available to people who have taken day one. Day two will focus on psalters and books of hours, and will include manuscripts and printed books from the Museum’s collections.  Please bring a pencil.

What is the difference between a missal and a breviary, a psalter and a book of hours, an antiphoner and a gradual? Who owned these books, how were they used, and who left them in their wills? This course provides in two days an overview of liturgical and devotional manuscripts and early printed books, their production and decoration. Textual characteristics will be explored and the ways of recognising the different types of book. As well as secondary sources and facsimiles, teaching will be based on original manuscripts, many of them illuminated, as well as some early printed liturgical books.

Day 1 will focus on the liturgical books required for the celebration of the mass and office. Day 2 in the Victoria and Albert Museum will focus on psalters and books of hours. 

Day 2 is normally only available to people who have taken Day 1.


Brief bibliography:

Christopher de Hamel, A history of illuminated manuscripts, 2nd edn (London, 1994) and pbk

Eric Palazzo, A history of liturgical books from the origins to the 13th century (Collegville, 1998)

Richard Pfaff, The liturgy in medieval England: a history (CUP, 2009)

Christopher Wordsworth and Henry Littlehales, The old service-books of the English church (London, 1904)

Roger Wieck, Time sanctified. The Book of Hours in medieval art and life (New York, 1988)

Student Comments

Such a pleasure to hear from two real authorities on the subject. Everything was patiently and charmingly explained. And wonderful to see firsthand some beautiful manuscripts from the Senate House Library collection.