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Medieval rabbits: the good, the bad and the bizarre

As this year’s Easter egg hunt is over, join us in a hunt through the pages of British Library manuscripts for some seasonal rabbits. Searching in our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts yielded an amazing 80 images – they are everywhere!

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The Renaissance Nude

We are delighted that two British Library manuscripts are featured in the new exhibition at the Royal Academy entitled The Renaissance Nude, which is open from 3 March to 2 June 2019. As Thomas Kren, one of the exhibition's curators has com

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Classics lost and found

Works written by ancient Greek and Roman authors have made a major impact on the world’s culture and society. They profoundly shaped medieval thought, as you can discover in Cillian O’Hogan’s article The Classical Past on the Polonsky Engla

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Boccaccio’s Venus in Cyprus

A new exhibition, The Venus Paradox, opened this September in Nicosia in Cyprus. It celebrates Venus, goddess of love, and the stories she has inspired through the ages. According to legend, Venus — or Aphrodite as she was called by Greek a

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Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day from the Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog! Detail of a bas-de-page scene of a woman at a spinning wheel being kissed by a man, from the Smithfield Decretals, Southern France (Toulouse?) with marginal decorat

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To Hell and Back: Dante and the Divine Comedy

It would be impossible to overstate the cultural significance of Dante’s Divina Commedia (the Divine Comedy), so we won’t even try; suffice it to say that the work has had a profound influence on subsequent authors, painters, sculptors, poe

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A Temporary Farewell

As I am preparing to head off for a year’s maternity leave, I thought I would take the opportunity to thank you all for the wonderful opportunity it has been to work on this blog. It has been a great pleasure to be able to share so many of