This celebrated medieval picture-book tells the Biblical story, focusing upon the Creation to the Flood, the Life of Christ, and the Apocalypse, with the help of illustrations of everyday 14th-century England. It is based on the biblical narrative but also includes plenty of apocryphal episodes, for example Christ surfing on sunbeams as a child, and God telling Noah to hurry up with the Ark so that he is forced to finish the top section in wicker rather than wood. The costumes, tools, weapons and buildings in the pictures give a near documentary-style representation of many occupations in the age of Chaucer, such as dyer, smith, carpenter and midwife. This distinctive manuscript has now been carefully photographed and reproduced on special paper designed to replicate the look and feel of the original vellum. The facsimile includes Michelle P. Brown's full transcript and translation of the text, and a commentary based on her unrivalled knowledge of the period.
Michelle P. Brown is Professor of Medieval Manuscript Studies at the University of London, and was for 18 years Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts at the British Library.She has published extensively on medieval history and manuscripts, and her most recent publications include Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age (British Library, 2007) and The World of the Luttrell Psalter (British Library, 2006).