The Write Stuff
I was honoured to be asked by my favourite museum to be a part of a series of short snippets for promoting the Abbey Medieval Festival this year.
Tania Crossingham's School of Illumination has provided a set of nine medieval characters and several of us gave our thoughts on each one. The filming was done last weekend, and now the first one is revealed!
The first video is about the role of scribes, and in it we briefly share a few thoughts. Of course, at first our thoughts turn to images of monks working in their scriptoriums, but as the sale and production of books becomes more widespread, we see books requiring the services of many specialist artisans to make a book.
Parchment and vellum makers, ink-makers, quill makers, copyists, illuminators, book binders, gold leaf specialists, cover-makers, hinge and clasp-makers and the craftsmen who make and supply settings and gem stones on the covers of the high-end books.
Many people will be astonished to hear that as the book trade became less monastery-oriented, women might be employed in illumination or other steps in the book trade.
Certainly, they were keen patrons of beautiful books of hours or romances which were often handed down in wills to their daughters.