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Decorated Initials, In Gerald Of Wales's 'The Topography Of Ireland' f.2r

Decorated Initials, In Gerald Of Wales's 'The Topography Of Ireland' f.2r

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1200

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 14

Item number: f.2r

Length: 26.8

Width: 18.3

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Gerald 'of Wales' (c. 1146-1223) was born at Manorbier, Pembrokeshire, and remained fiercely patriotic throughout his life. In 1184 he accompanied Prince John on an expedition to Ireland, after which he wrote 'The Topography Of Ireland'. It describes the country's physical features, birds and beasts, marvels, history, and the inhabitants. We owe much of our knowledge of medieval Ireland to this one work. The start of the text is addressed to King Henry II: 'It pleased your excellency, invincible king of the English . . . to send me from your court, with your beloved son John, to Ireland. And there, when I had seen many things not found in other countries . . . which I thought worthy of being remembered . . .'

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