The Fécamp Gospel-book was produced in the 10th century in Winchester, a royal centre in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex. By the early 11th century, England held close ties with Normandy. Queen Emma (b. c. 985, d. 1052), sister of Duke Richard II of Normandy and wife of the English kings Æthelred (r. 978–1013, 1014–1016) and then Cnut (r. 1016–1035), was a benefactor of the Norman abbey of the Trinity at Fécamp. She gifted the Abbey luxury items including this book.
This Gospel-book’s decoration features initial letters written in red, green and gold. Manuscript evidence has revealed that the work may have originally featured illuminated page decoration, possibly author portraits or decorated initials to open the books of the four Evangelists.
This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.
- Article by:
- Alison Ray
- Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, History and learning
Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.
- Article by:
- Stéphane Lecouteux
- History and learning, Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts
Through the evidence of manuscript production Stéphane Lecouteux traces the history of Normandy and the region’s close ties with England before and after the Norman Conquest of 1066.