The Luttrell Psalter Manuscript

The Luttrell Psalter is a decorated manuscript written and illuminated from about 1325 to 1340 for Sir Geoffrey Luttrell of Irnham in Lincolnshire. The Luttrell Psalter was not the first to include scenes of contemporary rustic life, but it is exceptional in their number and fascinating detail. Its lively and often humorous images provide a virtual ‘documentary’ of work and play during a year on an estate such as Sir Geoffrey’s’ The British Library

LP shepherds

The manuscript is held in the British Library and at the time we first began the project we didn’t realise that the British Library was planning to publish a facsimile edition. We contacted the publishers and they lent us a desk copy prior to publication for us to research the images.

This is what the B.L. says about the book: ‘The Luttrell Psalter is one of the British Library’s supreme treasures. It has more than 600 pages and the delicate task of recreating this masterpiece of English medieval art so accurately into a complete full size facsimile edition has taken well over a year to achieve. Every stage of the production process has been subjected to the greatest attention to detail, from reproducing the subtle effect of fine worked gold and silver that decorate the pages of the manuscript, to finding a modern paper which matches the weight and feel of the original animal skin vellum pages. This is a huge book in every sense: it measures over 7 cm in depth (and 36 cm long by 24.5 cm wide), and weighs just over 5 kilos. Very few people before have had the chance to turn and admire these wonderful pages; now it is open to everyone to do so in the comfort and leisure of their own home. This is a rare opportunity to own a superlative facsimile of one of the greatest medieval manuscripts anywhere in the world, and we anticipate demand to be high. The volume also contains a 64-page scholarly commentary by leading medieval manuscripts expert Michelle P. Brown, which details the history of the manuscript and includes a folio-by-folio description.’

The Facsimile was published in October 2006 and is now out of print.

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