Christopher de Hamel - Author

About the Author

In the course of a long career at Sotheby's Christopher de Hamel has probably handled and catalogued more illuminated manuscripts and over a wider range than any person alive. Since 2000, he has been Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The Parker Library, in his care, includes many of the earliest manuscripts in English language and history. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society.

Featured books by Christopher de Hamel

Other books by Christopher de Hamel

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/01/2018

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE AND THE DUFF COOPER PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 'Endlessly fascinating and enjoyable' Neil MacGregor 'A marvellous book' David Attenborough 'Full of delights' Tom Stoppard An extraordinary exploration of the medieval world - the most beguiling history book of the year This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature. The idea for the book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into intimate conversations with twelve of the most famous manuscripts in existence and to explore with the author what they tell us about nearly a thousand years of medieval history - and sometimes about the modern world too. Christopher de Hamel introduces us to kings, queens, saints, scribes, artists, librarians, thieves, dealers, collectors and the international community of manuscript scholars, showing us how he and his fellows piece together evidence to reach unexpected conclusions. He traces the elaborate journeys which these exceptionally precious artefacts have made through time and space, shows us how they have been copied, who has owned them or lusted after them (and how we can tell), how they have been embroiled in politics and scholarly disputes, how they have been regarded as objects of supreme beauty and luxury and as symbols of national identity. The book touches on religion, art, literature, music, science and the history of taste. Part travel book, part detective story, part conversation with the reader, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts conveys the fascination and excitement of encountering some of the greatest works of art in our culture which, in the originals, are to most people completely inaccessible. At the end, we have a slightly different perspective on history and how we come by knowledge. It is a most unusual book.

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: eBook Release Date: 26/10/2017

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts written and read by Christopher de Hamel. This is a book about why medieval manuscripts matter. Coming face to face with an important illuminated manuscript in the original is rather like meeting a very famous person. We may all pretend that a well-known celebrity is no different from anyone else, and yet there is an undeniable thrill in actually meeting and talking to a person of world stature. The idea for this book, which is entirely new, is to invite the reader into an intimate conversation with a selection of the most famous manuscripts in existence, and to let each of those manuscripts illuminate the Middle Ages and sometimes the modern world too. Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts invites the reader to accompany the author on exclusive private visits to a dozen very varied collections, in different parts of the world, to discover twelve great manuscripts and to explore their historical and intellectual significance.

Making Medieval Manuscripts

Making Medieval Manuscripts

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2017

Many beautiful illuminated manuscripts survive from the Middle Ages and can be seen in libraries and museums throughout Europe. But who were the skilled craftsmen who made these exquisite books? What precisely is parchment? How were medieval manuscripts designed and executed? What were the inks and pigments, and how were they applied? This book looks at the work of scribes, illuminators and book binders. Based principally on examples in the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated account tells the story of manuscript production from the early Middle Ages through to the high Renaissance. Each stage of production is described in detail, from the preparation of the parchment, pens, paints and inks to the writing of the scripts and the final decoration and illumination of the manuscript. This book also explains the role of the stationer or bookshop, often to be found near cathedral and market squares, in the commissioning of manuscripts, and it cites examples of specific scribes and illuminators who can be identified through their work as professional lay artisans. Christopher de Hamel's engaging text is accompanied by a glossary of key technical terms relating to manuscripts and illumination, providing an invaluable introduction for anyone interested in studying medieval manuscripts today.

Bibles An Illustrated History from Papyrus to Print

Bibles An Illustrated History from Papyrus to Print

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/04/2011

A unique visual history of the bestselling book of all time, Bibles: An Illustrated History from Papyrus to Print provides a snapshot of the biblical tradition through over fifty rare and important Bibles. Following a general introduction, the Bibles are presented in chronological chapters giving a short introduction for each period. Every example, from the oldest biblical fragments dating from c. 200 AD to the lavishly decorated gospels of the fine press tradition in the twentieth-century, is illustrated and accompanied by a caption which explains its particular significance. Drawing exclusively on Oxford's collection, one of the finest in the world, this book tells the remarkable story of the development of the Bible across media, language, and provenance. Containing many unusual examples, some of which have never been illustrated in print before, it includes many of the great biblical texts of the Eastern and Western tradition, including the Magdalen Papyrus, the Laudian Acts, the Anglo-Saxon Exodus, St Margaret's Gospel-book, the Douce Apocalypse, the Bible Moralisee (MS. Bodley 270b), the Kennicot Bible, the Guttenberg Bible, and the King James Bible. Published in the year of the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Bibles: An Illustrated History from Papyrus to Print brings together an extraordinary range of biblical texts and marks a milestone in the history of one of the most influential and enduring books in the world.

The Book A History of the Bible

The Book A History of the Bible

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/02/2005

A compelling, highly readable, scrupulously factual and unbiased history of the Bible as a book, with over 200 rich, fascinating and varied illustrations of Bibles from all times and places. The Bible is the most widely circulated book ever written. The Book: A History of the Bible tells for the first time the momentous story of the Bible as a book, tracing its publication in endless forms and numerous languages from its origins to the present day. The clear and highly readable narrative includes an account of the Old and New Testaments in their original languages of Hebrew and Greek, the Latin Vulgate translation of Saint Jerome, the magnificent manuscript Bibles of the Middle Ages, Guttenberg and the first printed Bible, and the translations of Wycliffe, Luther and the Protestant reformers. Continuing with missionary Bibles, the emergence of the modern Bible publishing industry and the mass of twentieth-century translations and versions, it concludes with the modern discovery of papyrus fragments and Dead Sea Scrolls which have cast important new light on the origins of the Bible. Christopher de Hamel writes as a historian. Without being evangelical or polemical, he bases his text scrupulously on actual surviving Bibles and the historical circumstances in which they were made. Scholarly and authoritative, The Book provides a new, clear-sighted, thought-provoking and utterly gripping account of the origins and history of the world's most influential book

A History of Illuminated Manuscripts

A History of Illuminated Manuscripts

Author: Christopher de Hamel Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/1997

Medieval manuscripts are among Western civilization's greatest glories. Laboriously written by hand and often sumptuously decorated, they have always been highly valued and remain as brilliant, fascinating and popular as ever. Christopher de Hamel vividly describes the circumstances in which such books were created - from the earliest monastic Gospel Books to the most lavish Books of Hours. For the second edition of this book, the text has been revised and updated and the whole volume completely redesigned with a striking wealth of new colour illustrations.

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