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The Posthumous Papers of the Manuscripts Club


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About the Author

In the course of a long career at Sotheby's and at Cambridge University, Christopher de Hamel has probably seen and catalogued more medieval manuscripts than anyone alive, and his delight and enthusiasm run through all he writes. He is the author of many books, translated into numerous languages, including A History of Illuminated Manuscripts, The Book in the Cathedral, and Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Wolfson History Prize. He is a Fellow of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.


Reading the Posthumous Papers is like taking a walk in excellent company ... an exceptional book, and itself an object worth cherishing. -- Daniel Brooks * Sunday Telegraph *
This book can be enjoyed on so many levels. The illustrations are exquisite and the writing ... is intelligent, illuminating, voluptuous and mischievous. The members of the club are brought to life with sensitivity; we can't help but find their nerdiness endearing. ... The most delightful feature of this book is, however, the author. I've never encountered one so willing to bare his soul, without ever explicitly setting out to do so. He throws open the doors to his world, exposing its beguiling nature. Sit at my table, he says, feast on what I adore. "The Club is still open for membership . . . All applicants are warmly admitted."' -- Gerard DeGroot * The Times *
In this stunningly beautiful book, Christopher de Hamel constructs an imaginary club of people who adore mediaeval manuscripts; bibliophiles whose obsession he shares. The 12 delightfully eccentric members span eight centuries - de Hamel imagines meeting them, sharing precious discoveries, trading gossip. The illustrations emit a light of their own, but what shines even brighter is the author's boyish enthusiasm for his subject. * Times Books of the Year *
a beautifully produced and magnificently surprising journey through the history of how and why people have wanted to collect manuscripts. An impossibly recondite subject, you might think; but it turns out to have a lot to do with all sorts of things about how we make sense of our histories and cultures - and it introduces us to a gallery of unforgettable characters. -- Rowan Williams * New Statesman Books of the Year *
Christopher de Hamel ... has the rare capacity to turn a scholarly specialism into a humane and humorous adventure. ... De Hamel retains an almost lyrical sense of wonder as he unclasps each groaning tome, opens its parched pages and lightly steps into the alternative world painted by its illuminators. ... he speaks of "meeting a beautiful manuscript" rather than reading it and his own book makes you feel you've spent time - a very long but absorbing time - in his convivial company. -- Peter Conrad * Guardian *
Christopher de Hamel's great gift is to tell life stories without taking anything away from the manuscripts, which remain the star of the show. Thanks to the beautiful illustrations in this wonderful book, we can see for ourselves how spellbinding an encounter with them must have been. Five years ago de Hamel entranced the world with his Meeting with Remarkable Manuscripts. This time the meetings are with remarkable manuscript owners, and the result is equally precious -- Kathryn Hughes * Sunday Times *
gloriously engaging and readable ... De Hamel wears his erudition lightly, and the reader is taken deeply into the worlds of individuals who lived across almost a thousand years of history -- Richard Ovenden * Financial Times *
The story of the people who created, saved and collected Europe's most sumptuous manuscripts, it's beautifully illustrated, a rich feast of scarlet and gold. -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times Books of the Year *

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