The most beguiling and acclaimed history book of the year, now in paperback.
In the course of a long career at Sotheby's Christopher de Hamel has probably handled and catalogued more illuminated manuscripts and over a wider range than any person alive. Since 2000, he has been Fellow and Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. The Parker Library, in his care, includes many of the earliest manuscripts in English language and history. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and the Royal Historical Society.
An extraordinary book, a work of scholarship and history salted
with the author's excitement as he conducts us among the great
libraries of Western civilization. It is full of delights -- Tom
The intellectual expedition of a lifetime ... This is an endlessly fascinating and enjoyable book. -- Neil MacGregor
A book of marvels -- John Banville * Financial Times *
Entrancing ... De Hamel's learned adventures amid some of the West's greatest manuscript treasures effortlessly outclass Eco's The Name of the Rose in elegance and excitement. They are also much funnier. -- Diarmaid MacCulloch
Reading is my life, but only about once a decade do I find a book that seems to tilt the world, so afterwards it appears different. -- Fiammetta Rocco * The Economist '1843' *
De Hamel's book, scholarly but unfailingly readable, is the beginning of wisdom in all things scribal and scriptural - Ian Thomson, The Observer * Ian Thomson, The Observer *