Medieval manuscripts blog

2 posts from May 2021

03 May 2021

Food scribes, food lives online event

Are you hungry for some culinary history? Join us for the free online event, Food Scribes, Food Lives, on Tuesday 11 May 2021, 17:30–18:30 (BST), as part of the British Library Food Season. We are going to be uncovering food manuscripts from the British Library’s medieval, modern and Turkic collections, and examining what these items can tell us about cooking, diet and attitudes to food across time and place.

The forme of Cury, a medieval recipe book written on a roll
Recipes from the Forme of Cury, 1420s: Add MS 5016

The event will feature a panel of three expert manuscript curators from the British Library who will be talking about their favourite historical food manuscripts. Michael Erdman will be looking the Turkish and Turkic collections, Jessica Gregory will be examining the modern collections, and Eleanor Jackson will be exploring our medieval manuscript collections.

You might know Ellie’s impressive medieval cookery skills from our Great Medieval Bake Off blogposts (the original medieval bake off, Christmas bake off and Lent bake off).

A medieval illustration of a feast scene in the Smithfield Decretals
A feast scene in the Smithfield Decretals, c. 1300-40: Royal MS 10 E IV, f. 236r

You can sign up for this free online event on the British Library website. Bookers will be sent a link in advance giving access and will be able to watch at any time for 48 hours after the start time.

We also recommend taking a look at the mouth-watering menu of digital events for the British Library Food Season, featuring an array of chefs, historians and food writers for a series of live conversations that you can tune into wherever you are.

Bon Appétit!

Food Season is supported by:

Kitchen Aid logo

01 May 2021

Caption this

Have you missed our caption competitions? In that case, you're in for a treat today. The rules are simple. Come up with a witty caption for the image below, and send it via the comments section at the foot of this blogpost or on Twitter to @BLMedieval. There are no prizes, only the kudos of showing off your incredible wit/imagination/creativity.

The page in question is found in the spectacular Maastricht Hours (Stowe MS 17, f. 273r), made in Liège in the 14th century. You can explore the entire manuscript for yourself on the British Library's Digitised Manuscripts site.

Good luck!


A manuscript illumination showing the king of love sitting in a tree. He is flanked by two musicians, and aims his arrows at a couple sitting below

Marginal miniature of the king of love sitting in a tree with two musicians, aiming his arrows at a couple sitting below: Stowe MS 17, f. 273r


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