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The Book of Kells

Official Guide

Bernard Meehan


An enthralling guide to Ireland's greatest cultural treasure

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Thames & Hudson’s bestselling book of all time, The Book of Kells: An Illustrated Introduction to the Manuscript in Trinity College Dublin, was first published in 1994. It is now reissued in a completely restructured, rewritten, redesigned and freshly illustrated edition.

This new official guide, by the former Keeper of Manuscripts at the Library of Trinity College Dublin, provides fascinating insights into the Book of Kells, revealing the astounding detail and richness of one of the greatest works of medieval art. The illustrations in the guide include reproductions of complete pages, and details that allow one to marvel at the intricacy of the decoration. The Book of Kells is explored through its historical background; its structure; its decorative elements, including the richness of its symbols and themes; the scribes and artists who worked on the manuscript; and the tools and pigments used in its creation.

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'Beautiful colour illustrations of both full pages and details'
Church Times

'Provides insights into the Gospels not found anywhere else'
Methodist Enquirer

'Enthralling … the range of vivid colours is almost as impressive as the striking use of gold in creating this sacramental trasure'
Antiques Diary

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: New Edition

Size: 24.8 x 19.0 cm

Extent: 96 pp

Illustrations: 98

Publication date: 8 February 2018

ISBN: 9780500480243

Contents List

Historical Background • Early History of The Book of Kells • Later History of The Book of Kells • Navigation of The Book of Kells • Structure of The Book of Kells • Canon Tables • Virgin and Child • Hebrew Names • Breves Causae and Argumenta • Matthew’s Gospel • Mark’s Gospel • Luke’s Gospel • John’s Gospel • Decoration of The Book of Kells • Antecedents and Influences • Symbols and Themes • Scribes and Artists • Script, Pricking and Ruling, Correcting • The Scribes • The Artists • Materials and Pigments

About the Author

Bernard Meehan was (until his retirement at the end of 2016) Head of Research Collections and Keeper of Manuscripts at Trinity College Dublin, where the Book of Kells is on permanent exhibition. Meehan has published extensively on the Book of Kells, most recently The Book of Kells, published by Thames & Hudson in 2012: ‘a triumph of scholarly investigation and interpretation’, according to the Financial Times.