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Peasants wear ultramarine

Barbara Newman: Nuns with Blue Teeth, 10 February 2022

Perceptions of Medieval Manuscripts: The Phenomenal Book 
by Elaine Treharne.
Oxford, 248 pp., £30, October 2021, 978 0 19 284381 4
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Hidden Hands: The Lives of Manuscripts and Their Makers 
by Mary Wellesley.
Riverrun, 372 pp., £25, October 2021, 978 1 5294 0093 9
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The Absent Image: Lacunae in Medieval Books 
by Elina Gertsman.
Penn State, 232 pp., £99.95, June 2021, 978 0 271 08784 9
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... intense reflection on a craft perceived as both violent and holy. The poem is deeply sensual, as Elaine Treharne notes: ‘It represents the noise of slicing, sloshing, scraping, stitching, sawing, smithing, singing, sighing, and … the smell and taste of guts and wood, fire and melting wax.’ Fortunately, no animals were harmed to produce the three ...

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