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The prayers of place, parchment & ink
Replay of conversation with Medieval Manuscript Scholar Sara Charles
Good people! I know it’s been ages since I wrote you something, but I have a real treat for you today. Please enjoy the interview I did live for paid Saints and Stones subscribers (remember you get to come and interact with these amazing speakers) with Sara Charles of The Institute of Historical Research at the University of London.
The entire process of medieval book making in the monastic scriptoriums was considered an offering to god, but as we learn the processes of actually creating the pieces and pigments it might not have been the sanitised and meditational setting we’ve been taught to imagine. Think cats running across pages, sore hands, gardening for ingredients, ink curing by the fire, and sorting skins for the best parchment.
Sara Charles joins me for a discussion about what we know, and don’t know, about the medieval manuscripts that have survived. We talk about the women of the time who definitely had roles and the evidence of their work that hasn’t survived. It was a wonderful experience and I hope you’ll join us!
We talk about the process of actually making the tools of the scriptorium. Sara has worked to recreate these now including inks, quills and parchment. Warning: there is a discussion of animal abattoirs and animal skins so if you don’t want to hear that just skip a minute or so at the 10 minute mark.
Sara also talks to us about her recent trip to stay on the mystical islands of Lindisfarne and Iona (where part of our story takes place). Lindisfarne is on the north east coast of England where the Lindisfarne gospels were created. You can see them and learn about them here. And as you’ll hear, this place has an impact on our story too.
The article that Sara wrote and refers to, and how I found her, can be found in this post where I get very excited: The Intimacy of Ink. We’ll definitely be on the look out for her book coming out next year!
You can follow Sara on her Instagram @sarajc
Let me know what you think!
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