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Miniatures Representing 'Bigamy', In James Le Palmer's Encyclopaedia 'All Good Things'

Miniatures Representing 'Bigamy', In James Le Palmer's Encyclopaedia 'All Good Things'

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1370

Shelfmark: Royal MS 6 E.vi

Item number: f.196r

Length: 45.2

Width: 30.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

James le Palmer (d. 1375) was a London Clerk who, as he tells us in the introduction, consulted over 100 different texts in compiling this vast encyclopaedia of canon law, theology, and general information. James wrote the book himself, which was a huge undertaking: in its present, unfinished form (the encyclopaedia runs out of steam after the letter 'M'), the text runs to well over very 2000 large pages, decorated with over 800 illustrations. 'Bigamy' receives an unusually large illustration. At the top, Christ holds diagrammatic circles (representing sanctified unions, such as Adam and Eve), which lead on the right-hand side (representing base unions, such as Man and Sin) to the mouth of Hell. Below in the small miniatures are the Marriage of the Virgin, and a marriage with witnesses, but without a priest.

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