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Illuminated Initial And Ownership Inscription, In A Collection Of Peter Of Blois's Letters, Sermons, And Other Works

Illuminated Initial And Ownership Inscription, In A Collection Of Peter Of Blois's Letters, Sermons, And Other Works

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1210

Shelfmark: Royal MS 8 F.xvii

Item number: f.1r

Length: 29.8

Width: 20.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Peter of Blois (c.1130-c.1203), had a distinguished academic, ecclesiastical, and political career, becoming archdeacon of London, ambassador to King Henry II, and secretary to his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most powerful woman in Europe. The collection of his letters exists in two versions, probably because Peter published a 'first edition' and later revised it: this manuscript contains the 'first edition', but is heavily annotated and corrected to bring it into line with the 'second edition'. In the Middle Ages it was owned by Lesnes Abbey, between Woolwich and Dartford, in south east London. The first page of the manuscript has a 'Channel Style' initial (so called because it was practised on both sides of the English Channel), and in the upper margin is an ownership inscription 'of the church of the Blessed Martyr Thomas [Becket] of Lesnes', followed by an anathema.

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