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The World of the Luttrell Psalter [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Michelle P. Brown
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

14 Oct 2006
Depicting scenes of everyday rustic life with vibrant color and earthy wit, the Luttrell Psalter is a unique and vivid document of British culture in the 1320s. Unlike other illuminated manuscripts, the Luttrell Psalter does not focus only on religious imagery, but instead portrays the domestic dramas of the day. Scenes of farming, archaic medical treatments, music and dance, and even marital friction spill over the psalms and cover the margins of this celebrated book. In 'The World of the Luttrell Psalter,' Michelle Brown unravels the Psalter's history and sets it firmly within medieval society. A crucial element of the Psalter's cultural context is its patron, wealthy landowner Sir Geoffrey Luttrell. Brown reveals that knowledge of Luttrell and the book's audience is as important to understanding the work's meaning as its striking imagery. Brown's engaging narrative traces the inspiration and creation of the book, identifying its forebears while elucidating its originality. With lavish illustrations that highlight the inventiveness of the manuscript, 'The World of the Luttrell Psalter' is an appealing guide to a remarkable artifact.

Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: British Library Publishing Division; 1st Edition edition (14 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712349596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712349598
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 15.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A delightful exploration of a singular manuscript. . . . Brown''s examination of its contents reveals issues of historic importance while also giving insight into the personal lives of the Luttrell family and those close to them."-Library Journal

About the Author

Michelle P. Brown is a manuscripts specialist and outreach officer at the British Library, and a freelance author. She has published extensively on Anglo-Saxon and medieval history and manuscripts. Her most recent publication is The Lindisfarne Gospels: Society, Spirituality and the Scribe (British Library, 2003).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
THE LUTTRELL PSALTER is one of the supreme expressions of Gothic, an international style but here imbued with a distinctively English character. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Leaving your Ferrari to God 15 Feb 2009
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an informative and yet quite frustrating book. It is ninety-six pages long, but well produced and presented, as one would expect when the publisher is the British Library. It serves a good purpose, but there are criticisms to be made.

The book consists of a short introduction and seven chapters. The first considers the Luttrell family, and it soon becomes apparent that nothing much of certainty can be said about them, the book, its content, and its meaning, for Michelle Brown's text is full of such phrases as "may be", "might be", "it is possible" and "I would suggest". I am not in a position to comment about the veracity of the facts about the Luttrell's family background in the midlands of England, but I must admit to being worried when early on the author refers to Charing Cross being named after the Eleanor cross that was erected there following the death of Edward I's queen in 1290: the place-name Cyrringe is dated to c.1000. This put me on my guard for the rest of the book, especially with regard to facts that were not really pertinent to Michelle Brown's specialism as the former Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library. Even the interpretations made by the author about the depictions in the psalter I felt often were based on mere conjecture.

And I was surprised to find some clear errors of interpretation. For example, in the banqueting scene at the foot of folio 208r, Brown says four of those present "stare frontally at the viewer", when in fact on two do so; the other two whose faces are turned frontally, actually look to their sides instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful & informative 3 Dec 2012
By ranmore
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not only are the illustrations from this Psalter fascinating, the book itself is beautifully designed. The Psalter was made in about 1335 for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell.
The well qualified author suggests how most of the illustrations reflects three things ::-- first, the meaning of the written text of the psalter on the page where each illustration was drawn: second the life of the gentry, of labourers and of others: and third, the personal life of Sir G Luttrell
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3.0 out of 5 stars Illustrations 13 Aug 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An easy read about psalters in general and the history of this particular one. I bought it for the illustrations, but would have liked more of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lutteral Psalter 16 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was thrilled to receive the copy of this book in excellent condition and
also with the contents - many thanks
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pictorial history! 10 April 2011
By Pashley
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
That period at which the Lutterell Psalter was written has always held a fascination for me. Perhaps this stems from the fact that, although these people had their existence, hopes and terrors and looked as we do today, their experience of the world and their expectations were vastly different from ours. Although the reading of the Latin text is not so simple, it has given me hours of delight to remember what I was taught almost sixty years ago!
The book presents this insight in an expert manner, is well produced and worth the money. As a further aside, it was in my hand in less than twenty-four hours of my ordering it!
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