Medieval images of Christmas-time

As it’s Christmas, the darkest time of the year I’m putting on the Shakespeare blog a few images drawn from the British Library’s Illuminated Manuscripts stunningly beautiful collection. Thousands of images are now online: the connections to Shakespeare are a bit loose in this post, but at this time of year who cares? This link leads to some images of winter from some of these amazing medieval manuscripts.

Click on the links to be taken to the British Library’s site where you’ll find full details of the images, and the ability to look in more detail at these jewel-like pages.

A nativity scene

The annunciation to the shepherds

The Castle of Love, including images of the white rose and the red, symbolising the union of the houses of York and Lancaster

A view of London

And this beautiful image illustrates the month of December from a book of hours. Imagine how much the person who owned this book must have cherished this glowing golden image of summer flowers, fruit and birds when days were short and the landscape bare.

Happy Christmas!

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3 Responses to Medieval images of Christmas-time

  1. Mairi Macdonald says:

    Thanks for reminding us of these incredible images which are still so vibrant and colourful. Merry Christmas !

  2. Jo Wilding says:

    Gorgeous, thank you Sylvia.

    I spotted a Shakespeare connection! The fourth one down is Charles, Duke of Orleans, writing poetry during his long captivity in England after the battle of Agincourt – he appears in Shakespeare’s Henry V.

    As Shakespeare said of Christmas “so gracious and so hallowed is the time”. Merry Christmas to you and all your readers!

  3. Ann Donnelly says:

    Lovely images Sylvia, thanks!

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