Book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1917. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER IV. BOOKS IN MEDIAEVAL TIMES. The books of the Middle Ages are a special subject in themselves, since they include all the illuminated manuscripts of Ireland, England and the Continent. We can therefore do little more i han indicate their historical place in the story i.f books. We have only to look at a mediaeval illuminated manuscript to understand how books were regarded in those days, and with what lavish expenditure of time and skill the quaint characters were traced and the ornaments designed and executed. And having looked, we gather that books, being rare, were appreciated; and being sacred, were reverenced; and that it was deemed a worthy thing to make a good book and to make it beautiful. Sometimes the monkish artist's handiwork had a result not foreseen by him, for we read that when St. Boniface, the Saxon missionary who gave his life to the conversion of Germany, wrote to ask the Abbess Eadburga for a missal, he desired that the colours might be gay and bright"even as a glittering lamp and an illumination for the hearts of the Gentiles." It is easy to imagine how the brilliant pages would attract the colour-loving barbarians, and prepare the way for friendly advances. It is probable that the custom of ornamenting books with drawings was derived from the Egyptians by the Greeks, and from the Greeks by the Romans, among whom decorated books were common, although they are known to us chiefly by means of copies preserved in Byzantine and Italian manuscripts of a more recent period. These, and a few examples dating from the time of Con stantine, exhibit a style evidently derived from classical models. A survey of medifeval books properly begins with the early Irish manuscripts, which stand at the head of a long and glorious line stretching, chronologi...
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