External Resources

The British Library has a number of articles on their website which give an excellent brief introduction to aspects of medieval life through the window of illuminated manuscripts. In particular, see:

Literature, music and illuminated manuscripts

Death and the afterlife: how dying affected the living

Church in the Middle Ages: from dedication to dissent

Many libraries have made available complete digital reproductions of the medieval manuscripts in their collections, and leafing through them can give a wonderful insight into how people in the Middle Ages used different kinds of books in their spiritual lives. For instance, take a look at:

This beautiful Anglo-Saxon gospel-book

A little book of prayers which belonged to an Anglo-Saxon monk

The story of St Edmund of East Anglia, told through a series of full-colour illustrations

A lavish 15th-century Book of Hours owned by Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII

Monastic and clerical life

Benedictines, Franciscans, Gilbertines and so many more… A three-part introduction to the different orders of monks, canons and friars in the medieval church