1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts

Edited by Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick

1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts

Edited by Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick

Distributed for British Library

334 pages | 80 color plates | 6 x 9 | © 2013
Cloth $75.00 ISBN: 9780712357081 Published June 2014 For sale in North and South America only
What role did books play in the lives of English monarchs and their families? Besides Alfred the Great, Edward IV, Henry VIII, and George III, which kings and queens appreciated books and amassed enormous libraries full of them? This well-illustrated volume presents a fresh and wide-ranging review of the evidence for royal interest in handwritten and printed books. Leading experts offer new perspectives on the involvement of England’s monarchs in the circulation and preservation of texts from Anglo-Saxon times to the present day. Some essays consider individual books or monarchs; others take a wider view of several centuries of evidence. At the heart of the volume is the remarkable array of royal books held by the British Library, including the Old Royal Library, presented to the nation by George II, and the King’s Library, presented by George IV. Illustrated in color throughout, 1000 Years of Royal Books and Manuscripts will appeal to anyone fascinated by the British monarchy as well as the country’s rich and extensive literary history.

Note to the Reader

Regnal Dates



Kathleen Doyle and Scot McKendrick

The Earliest English Royal Books

Richard Gameson

King Athelstan’s Psalter (BL Cotton Galba A. xviii)

Michael Wood

The Provenance of the Morgan Golden Gospels (Pierpont Morgan Library, MS M.23): A New Hypothesis

James P. Carley

The Great Lost Library of England’s Medieval Kings? Royal Use and Ownership of Books, 1066-1272

Nicholas Vincent

The Livre du Sacre of Charles V of France: A Reappraisal

Joanna Fronska

Makers of Royal Manuscripts: Court Artists in France and the Netherlands

Catherine Reynolds

The Manuscripts of Edward IV: The Documentary Evidence

Scot McKendrick

‘Preserved and Transmitted for the Good of Posterity’: The Transfer of the Old Royal Library from a Palace to a Museum

Kathleen Doyle

Royal Libraries in the King’s Library

John Goldfinch

The Royal Library at Windsor Castle

Jane Roberts


General Index

Index of Manuscripts

Picture Credits

Review Quotes
Times Literary Supplement
"At a time when it is becoming ever more difficult to use books in the Manuscripts Room, this is a welcome reminder of work in progress."
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