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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
24
4.6 out of 5 stars


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I wanted to dip my toe into the water before submerging myself in one of the most beautiful books ever produced in these islands. This book fits the bill, mostly.
I say mostly because some of the text is as dry as dust and contradictory to previous dissertations on the subject. You might like a page on the differences that three round dots or four square dots can make in a text.
And to be honest I would have liked some sort of key to explain what I was looking at. Not a verbal explanation, but something like a line drawing opposite with the large decorative squiggle that resembles nothing defined as the letter Q, then another showing which part of the Q was hiding the U, O, N etc.
The beauty of the illumination shines out but I found the majority of it to be unintelligible even when the script was written plain on the facing page. Some letters I never found no matter how long I stared. And the text mentions details like snakes being confused as lions and there is not that much to see without using a magnifying glass.
With twenty five colour plates this can be called a good sampler, but for my needs I think I might have to try ten different editions at enormous expense to satisfy my queries.
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on 24 August 2016
This book is pricey but for me it was well worth the money. I have it a few months now and I'm only partway through it. It has as much information as you could possibly want on the Book of Kells and then some. It is full of excellent photographs, some spread over two pages, and details all areas of interest in the manuscript. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to significantly increase their knowledge on the Book of Kells.
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on 29 December 2013
Bought to give as a gift as he wanted to improve his calligraphy skills and he loved it. It was better than anticipated and came within only two days of expected arrival date. I would definitely recommend to anyone interested in buying this product to buy from here and cheaper than other places according to my own research of product.
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on 18 September 2013
The details allow one to scrutinise the extraordinary artistry of the makers and to consider its interrelation with Anglo-Saxon art. The book is brilliant introduction to a unique artwork.
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on 3 December 2012
I have to admit that I am fascinated by the Book of Kells and have almost every modern publication discussing this great work of art. This latest work by the Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College, Dublin is one of the best. It is a worthy companion to the great work by Prof Francoise Henry, first published in 1974 also by Thames and Hudson. This work also comes in a very similar slipcase to the T&H 1974 publication and contains (mostly enlarged) colour images from the Book of Kells (no less than 220 in number plus another 30 images from early medieval works of art that may have influenced the scribes who wrote and illuminated Kells. The reproductions are all of uniformly high quality as is the norm with art books from T&H. The format of the book is almost complementary to the early work by Prof Henry in that Meehan focusses heavily on the decoration of the book and attempts to explain the contextual meaning behind many of the images of animals, plants and people that are the subjects of the hundreds of illuminations in the manuscript. Meehan admits that many of the hidden meanings that underlie these illuminations have been lost with the passage of centuries, however he does his best to lay before the reader the most likely meanings that modern scholarship can provide. The book also contains sections on the historical background to the manuscript, the various elements of the manuscript, the different 'hands' and approaches of the four main scribes who wrote and illuminated the manuscript and the physical features of the manuscript. It is also worth mentioning that the text, while authoritative, is much more accessible and 'down to earth' than other more scholarly works on this manuscript. It is a book into which a reader can dip almost at random a few pages at a time - each time discovering something new and interesting that adds immeasurably to the pleasure of gazing on the reproductions of the pages themselves. In short, Dr Meehan and T&H have done the world of art a great service by making this remarkable manuscript more accessible to everyone who can afford a copy of the book, or who has access to a library with a copy. It would be indeed wonderful if Dr Meehan and T&H could now turn their significant talents to publish a companion volume on the other great insular manuscript housed in Trinity College: The Book of Durrow.
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on 10 October 2014
This is a very high quality book with some fantastic illustrations showing the miraculous craftsmanship in the Book of Kells. You can lose yourself in endless intricate patterns and wonder how they wer done.

Brilliant. I haven't read a word of the text by the way, just looked at the pictures.
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on 6 August 2013
An impressive work; very beautifully assembled. Would highly recommend and cnsider it to be a great gift choice. Carefully wrapped and speedily delivered.
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on 15 August 2013
Phenomenal book. Well written, well presented, very engaging. A work that draws you into The Book Of Kells. History revealed.
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on 27 February 2015
Beautifully reproduced
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on 21 October 2014
Heavy !!! lovely gift though. Recipient very happy
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