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Bede, 'History of the English Church and People', ownership inscription

Bede, 'History of the English Church and People', ownership inscription

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1150

Shelfmark: Additional MS 38817

Item number: f.4v

Length: 26.2

Width: 16.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Bede (ca. 673-735), star author of the twin monastery of Monkwearmouth-Jarrow, is most famous for his 'History of the English Church and People'. Today it is known for Bede's acknowledgement of his sources: he gave footnotes saying where he got his information. He wrote it around 731 for the saintly Ceolwulf, King of Northumbria, who was in that year forcibly 'retired' and tonsured as a monk, although he soon returned to the throne. In the book, Bede tells the story of the Anglo-Saxons becoming a Christian people and, although politically still divided into several kingdoms, united in destiny as a nation. It remained a best-seller for a few centuries. This 12th-century copy, made at Kirkham Abbey, Yorkshire, was included in a manuscript containing other works of Bede, histories, and material on saints. On this page the inscription identifies it as 'A book of the Church of Christ of Kirkham,' and then lists the volume's contents, beginning with Bede's 'History' and ending with some writings on visions of the end of the world.

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