Piety in pieces : how medieval readers customized their manuscripts / Kathryn M. Rudy
E-Book | Open Book Publishers | 2016

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1 online resource (xv, 392 pages) : color illustrations, facsimiles
data file rda
Includes bibliographical references (pages 339-353) and index.
Notes to the reader -- Abbreviations used in this book -- Introduction: A new approach to codicology -- Types of augmentations -- Part I: The modular method -- A. Modular and non-modular, compared -- B. The hierarchy of decoration -- C. Modules and blank space -- D. Precursors of book modules -- E. Implications of the modular method -- F. Adopters of the modular method -- G. Complicated stratigraphy -- Part II: Changes that did not require rebinding -- A. Correcting the text -- B. Adding text to the blank folios and interstices ; 1. Noting who owned, commissioned, and paid for items ; 2. Adding family information ; 3. Adding legal documents ; 4. Adding a gloss ; 5. Adding calendrical data ; 6. Changing a text to reflect updated circumstances ; 7. Adding text to make a book appropriate as a didactic tool ; 8. Adding prayers -- C. Augmenting the existing decoration -- D. Drawing or painting images directly onto bound parchment -- E. Adding physical material superficially ; 1. Attaching parchment sheets to blank areas of the book ; 2. Adding other objects to blank parchment -- Part III: Changes that required rebinding -- Rebinding -- A. Adding leaves bearing texts -- B. Adding leaves bearing images ; 1. Images for the most common offices ; 2. Images for indulgences ; 3. Portraits and personalizing details ; 4. Images for adding value ; 5. Images for missals ; 6. Other single-leaf miniatures ; 7. Packages of images ; 8. Images removed from one manuscript and inserted into another -- C. Adding quires ; 1. Adding a bifolium ; 2. Adding one or more full quires -- Part IV: Complicated interventions and complete overhauls -- Building a book out of disparate quires -- A. An atelier in Bruges -- B. Unica -- C. The convent of St. Ursula ; 1. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Rawl. Liturg. E.9* ; 2. The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. 132 G ; 3. Uppsala, Universitetsbiblioteket, Ms. C 517 k -- D. The convent of St. Agnes in Delft -- E. The Masters of the Dark Eyes ; 1. Alongside the Master of Gijsbrecht van Brederode ; 2. Leeds, Brotherton Ms. 7 with an added booklet -- Part V: Patterns of desire -- A. Desire to personalize the book -- B. Desire to commemorate a changed family situation -- C. Desire to store small precious objects -- D. Desire for more embellishment -- E. Recycling and refurbishing -- F. Desire to make foreign-produced manuscripts locally relevant -- G. Desire to incorporate new prayers -- H. Fear of hell -- I. Desire to reflect wealth -- J. Changes, social and codicological -- List of illustrations.
"Medieval manuscripts resisted obsolescence. Made by highly specialised craftspeople (scribes, illuminators, book binders) with labour-intensive processes using exclusive and sometimes exotic materials (parchment made from dozens or hundreds of skins, inks and paints made from prized minerals, animals and plants), books were expensive and built to last. They usually outlived their owners. Rather than discard them when they were superseded, book owners found ways to update, amend and upcycle books or book parts. These activities accelerated in the fifteenth century. Most manuscripts made before 1390 were bespoke and made for a particular client, but those made after 1390 (especially books of hours) were increasingly made for an open market, in which the producer was not in direct contact with the buyer. Increased efficiency led to more generic products, which owners were motivated to personalise. It also led to more blank parchment in the book, for example, the backs of inserted miniatures and the blanks ends of textual components. Book buyers of the late fourteenth and throughout the fifteenth century still held onto the old connotations of manuscripts--that they were custom-made luxury items--even when the production had become impersonal. Owners consequently purchased books made for an open market and then personalised them, filling in the blank spaces, and even adding more components later. This would give them an affordable product, but one that still smacked of luxury and met their individual needs. They kept older books in circulation by amending them, attached items to generic books to make them more relevant and valuable, and added new prayers with escalating indulgences as the culture of salvation shifted. Rudy considers ways in which book owners adjusted the contents of their books from the simplest (add a marginal note, sew in a curtain) to the most complex (take the book apart, embellish the components with painted decoration, add more quires of parchment). By making sometimes extreme adjustments, book owners kept their books fashionable and emotionally relevant. This study explores the intersection of codicology and human desire. Rudy shows how increased modularisation of book making led to more standardisation but also to more opportunities for personalisation. She asks: What properties did parchment manuscripts have that printed books lacked? What are the interrelationships among technology, efficiency, skill loss and standardisation?"--Publisher's website.
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Print version: Rudy, Kathryn M., Piety in pieces 9781783742332 (OCoLC)960910803
1783742356 (electronic bk.)
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178374233X (paperback)
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