This curated selection explores medieval manuscripts that were digitised as part of The Polonsky Foundation England and France Project: Manuscripts from the British Library and the Bibliothèque nationale de France, 700–1200. Discover stunning highlights of illuminated manuscripts set in their cultural and historical context and explored in a range of articles.

All of the 800 manuscripts digitised in the project are included in full on the website France et Angleterre: manuscrits médiévaux entre 700 et 1200 where you can view manuscripts side by side, and find manuscripts by date, language, place of origin, author or subject.

Articles

Law

Legal manuscripts in England and France

The study of law in medieval Europe was revitalised in the 12th century. Joanna Frońska explores the production of legal works and their use by scholarly communities in this period.

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Medical Knowledge

Medical knowledge in the early medieval period

Understanding of the human body and the treatment of illness in the Middle Ages derived from the works of classical authors as well as contemporary scholars. Taylor McCall examines popular medical texts and their circulation before 1200.

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Music

Writing music

Music played a central role in Christian liturgy throughout the Middle Ages. Nicolas Bell describes the evidence for this music in manuscripts made before 1200.

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Circulation

The circulation of manuscripts before 1200

Samu Niskanen discusses the movement of manuscript texts and letter collections between England and France in the early Middle Ages.

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Church Fathers

Works of the Church Fathers

The writings of the Church Fathers formed the central core of books copied and owned by medieval monasteries after the Bible. Chantry Westwell provides an introduction to these formative works of the early Christian Church and to the manuscript copies produced.

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Themes

Art and illumination

Learn more about manuscript art from the illumination and decoration found in medieval books.

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History and learning

Explore the spread and exchange of medieval culture and language before 1200.

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Science and Nature

Science and nature

From medical surgery to the stars of the constellations, what were the scientific works of the early Middle Ages and how were they transmitted?

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Making Manuscripts

Making manuscripts

Learn more about book production in the Middle Ages and how to illuminate a manuscript today.

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