Hex’s weekend book recommendation
Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist, 1811
If you love medieval settings, historical fiction closely connected to real events, revenge and Kafka, you’re going to love this. Very ahead of it’s time in terms of style and theme. Martin Luther makes an appearance.
Based on the story about this guy. Had a couple of movie adaptations (the latest one this year with Mads Mikkelsen).
This missal (the most important liturgical book, containing constant and inconstant parts of the mass) has been created circa 1470 for St. Mary Magdalene Church in Wroclaw.
It had been lost for centuries, but has been returned to Poland in 2009. It is very well preserved and still in original binding.
A fascinating video concerning this post.
How do you read a two-thousand-year-old manuscript that has been erased, cut up, written on and painted over? With a powerful particle accelerator, of course! Ancient books curator William Noel tells the fascinating story behind the Archimedes palimpsest, a Byzantine prayer book containing previously-unknown original writings from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others.
Thank you, Luis Walker!
A copy of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare which the inmates of South Africa’s notorious apartheid-era Robben Island prison read clandestinely and which became known as the “Robben Island Bible” is one of the prize exhibits of a major exhibition at the British Museum called Shakespeare: Staging the World.
Impressive library of Melk Abbey, with countless medieval manuscripts, including a famed collection of musical manuscripts and frescos by Paul Troger.
In his well-known novel The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco named one of the protagonists “Adson von Melk” as a tribute to the abbey and its famous library.
News: Medieval Reading Habits
Using a densitometer, a machine that measures the darkness of a reflecting surface, Rudy was able to intepret how a reader handled a book, which sections were the most popular and which were ignored.
"Although it is often difficult to study the habits, private rituals and emotional states of people, this new technique can let us into the minds of people from the past," Rudy said.
Processus Contra Templarios (Or how all book should be published)
(I mean, look at all those things that are included…Oh, well, back to the facts…)
Years of research and organization, conducted by the Vatican Secret Archive on its source material, have made possible the publication of Processus Contra Templarios, the exclusive and previously unavailable hearing of the original acts of the ancient trial against the Templar Knights.
A unique project in the world, this work comes in a limited run of 799 copies, under the supervision of the Papal Archive officials, and includes the faithful replicas of the original parchments kept at the Secret Archive along with a new and exclusive critical edition on the minutes of the inquiry.
A thorough analysis of the original parchments, performed through the technique known as “Wood lamp”, which allows the recovery of parts of text unattainable to previous publishers, has made possible for the supervisors to amend older editions, so as to afford a more accurate and genuine reading of the documents.
The Chained Library at Hereford Cathedral is a unique and fascinating treasure in Britain’s rich heritage of library history.
There were books at Hereford Cathedral long before there was a ‘library’ in the modern sense.
The cathedral’s earliest and most important book is the eighth-century Hereford Gospels; it is one of 229 medieval manuscripts which now occupy two bays of the Chained Library.
The Gospels of Henry the Lion, Order of Saint Benedict — $11.7 million
Originally commissioned by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, for the altar of the Virgin Mary at the Brunswick Cathedral, this gospel book was purchased by the German government at Sotheby’s of London in 1983 for £8,140,000, or about $11.7 million (at the time). At 266 pages, including 50 full-page illustrations, the book is considered a masterpiece of the 12th century Romanesque illuminated manuscript.
No one is allowed to borrow from the Vatican Library, except the pope. And no wonder: the archive holds some of the oldest and most precious works of art and treasure known to man.
But the Vatican agreed to let “60 Minutes” and correspondent Morley Safer in to see some of the priceless artifacts of our collective past.
“Booklovers now have their own house of worship: the Selexyz Bookstore.Designed by Dutch firm Merkx + Girod, the Selexyz in Maastrict takes its Gothic aspirational feel from the medieval Dominican church that contains it.”
Mixed feelings. Spend your money in the house of God. Touch centuries old stone and buy some transient words. But still…