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on 26 September 2015
There are some well made points from previous reviewers about the size of the plates in this book, but that said they are are well chosen and reproduced. The absence of colour isn't that much of a loss to me since the book is about scripts rather than illumination, and no doubt it helps to keep the cost down for a fairly specialised volume. It's worth cross-checking the list of plates against academic websites: some (but sadly by no means all) of the examples have been digitised.

The text is distinctly scholarly: I did read it from cover to cover as it happens, but that's unlikely to be typical and probably not the author's intent. The subject being such a vast one with plenty of grey areas, Prof. Brown makes an excellent job of providing a coherent and systematic historical account, making this book a good bet for paleographers seeking an all-in-one overview. Calligraphers will probably be less thrilled, and may do well to seek out the Marc Drogin book mentioned by another reviewer, which is more idiosyncratic but also more expansive, and contains practical information beyond the scope of the present work. Both deserve their place on my bookshelf, but which one is better depends on whether one intends to understand the history or reproduce the scripts.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 23 May 2015
This is a useful resource of scripts, consisting of a manuscript facsimile on the right hand page and on the left a transcription (or partial transcription) and a brief discussion. The main problem for me is that for many of the facsimiles the lettering is so small as to not really be able to make them out very well. It would have been better to have a blown up part of the manuscript which is more readable than a whole page which is not.

More useful to me than this book are An Introduction to Greek and Latin Palaeography and Medieval Calligraphy: Its History and Technique (Lettering, Calligraphy, Typography).
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on 9 August 2014
A good book for starting a study of historical scripts. It gives examples of each type of text, a description of it and where it fits in with other scripts plus the transcription of the example in modern typescript. I would have been nice to have a translation as well to hint at e what sort of use each text was used for. It gives the sources of the examples and helpful comments drawing the reader's attention to interesting details or variations.
This is not really a book to read 'cover-to-cover', more one to allow interested people to focus in on scripts of any particular time span that they want to explore more. There is a good select bibliography.
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on 27 November 2010
Michelle P. Brown provides with an expert, insightful summary of the main scripts found from the demise of the Roman Empire (400 AD) until the invention of the press. Each script is carefully systematized and the introduction clearly explains the technical terms for those who are not very familiar with palaeography. Most importantly, it has excellent plates that the author uses to explain the features she points out in her summary. If there is something negative to say about the book is that it should contain more colour plates of each script. I find this book to be indispensable for any palaeography class.
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on 12 January 2015
so far so good, only half way through reading it
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on 10 May 2015
Another book I bought to use throughout my Postgraduate course. Full of useful interpretations of individual Medieval Manuscripts.
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on 11 November 2014
An indispensable aid - excellent!
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