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VMs: The Illustrative Traditions
I'd appreciate any feedback about a book published by the British Library
Studies about a year and a half ago, entitled "Medieval Herbals: The
Illustrative Traditions". Does it contribute to our noble cause?
Its website describes it as a "new, wide-ranging and generously illustrated
study of manuscript herbals produced between 600 - 1450. The book examines
the two principal herbal traditions of Classical descent: the Dioscorides
manuscripts in Greek, Arabic, and Latin and the Latin Herbarius of Apulcius
Platonicus. It shows how, from 1300, the illustrations of the de herbis
Traetatus treatises, the first of which was British Library, MS. Egerton
747, showed a new observation of nature, paving the way in the fifteenth
century for French Livres des Simples and the magnificent plant paintings of
later Italian Herbals. Medieval Herbals provides one of the few syntheses in
English of existing research on the subject and also addresses issues of
dating, location, production and ownership of the individual codices. Minta
Collins demonstrates how many herbals were not only codices for medical
scholars but expensively illustrated books for bibliophiles, of equal
interest to students of manuscripts, to historians of medicine and botany,
and to art historians."
Sounds decidedly attractive, but our local library does not have a copy yet
and it will probably be a few weeks until I get to review one.
Thanks in advance.