Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: March 2012

13 - The circulation of books between England and the Celtic realms

from PART II - THE CIRCULATION OF BOOKS

Summary

The career of Lichfield Gospels, one of the most magnificent surviving manuscripts from the British Isles, may be used to illustrate some of the certainties, and also the insuperable ambiguities, surrounding the circulation of books between England and its Celtic neighbours: Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and Brittany. Certain historical events have stimulated the passage of books between England and one or more of its Celtic neighbours such as the accession of Alfred the Great to the throne of Wessex. The majority of Celtic manuscripts from Anglo-Saxon England are Brittonic, whether Welsh, Breton or Cornish. The clearest evidence for the circulation of books from England to one of the Celtic regions comes from Brittany. The MacRegol Gospels, also known as the Rushworth Gospels, is an Irish manuscript, which reached Northumbria by the tenth century, where it received Old English glosses.