Magical seals in an English Book of Hours

In addition to containing the daily cycle of prayer, Books of Hours sometimes include magical spells or incantations, reflecting their lay owners’ concerns over physical and spiritual dangers. Stowe MS 16, a Book of Hours produced in London shortly before 1410, is an interesting example. This manuscript is mainly known to scholars because it includes a miniature of the Annunciation that has been attributed to Herman Scheerre (fl. c. 1388–c. 1422), a Flemish or German illuminator who was one of the most influential artists in early 15th-century England. blogs.bl.uk

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Magic SealsThe Hours of the Virgin Mary (London, c. 1410): Stowe MS 16, f. 9r

Medieval cures for lung disease, gout and vertigo

Even after the Normans conquered England, Old English (the oldest form of the vernacular) continued to be spoken throughout the country. It continued to be used in books produced in monasteries there for at least a century after William the Conqueror’s invasion.

One excellent example of this is found in the Old English Illustrated Herbal. Originally made in Canterbury in the early 11th century, this manuscript contains Old English translations of a collection of Latin remedies, illustrated with numerous paintings of plants and animals. blogs.bl.uk

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Europe’s Oldest Intact Book Is Discovered Inside the Coffin of a Saint

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Europe’s oldest intact book has been discovered after being closed inside a hermit monk’s coffin for over 400 years. It will go on display at the British Library as part of an exhibition featuring prized manuscripts like the Lindisfarne Gospels and Beowulf. The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see how medieval Anglo-Saxons depicted their own culture through early writings. MyModernMet.com

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