Cockney illustrated Bible from the 14th century

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5 Responses to “Cockney illustrated Bible from the 14th century”

  1. marcuspierce says:

    Timely. I was wondering on this eve of Christ’s birth why all of us are trying to be so nice to each other in respect and acknowledgment of an anniversary that none of us any longer respect or acknowledge. Can’t we all just be nasty, brutish and short like we are the rest of the year?

  2. Antinous says:

    Benny Hill’s Book of Kells.

  3. ablestmage says:

    I wasn’t leering questionably at the cockney assertion, but at the “bible” part of the title. It’s very clearly not a bible, but instead some kin of pardody-like tract. The fact that it contains illustrations even pushes breaking the 2nd commandment, for his noodly appendage’s sake. It’s quite plainly a guy who summarized a number of incidents and drew some pictures. How did the bible title pass editorial review?

  4. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Speak for yourself, Marcus Pierce.

    AblestMage:

    I wasn’t leering questionably at the cockney assertion, but at the “bible” part of the title.

    The standard name of this manuscript is The Holkham Bible or the Holkham Bible Picture Book.

    It’s very clearly not a bible, but instead some kin of pardody-like tract.

    Wrong. It’s a teaching aid. A preacher would show it to his listeners as he taught them episodes from the Bible. The non-canonical bits are accretions, not parodies.

    The fact that it contains illustrations even pushes breaking the 2nd commandment, for his noodly appendage’s sake.

    Um. Wow. I’m not sure how to break this to you, but very few Christian congregations are, or have ever been, hardliners about the Second Commandment. In this case we’re talking about late-medieval Catholicism, which is way over on the other end of the bell curve. They talked as much in images as in words.

    It’s quite plainly a guy who summarized a number of incidents and drew some pictures. How did the bible title pass editorial review?

    Sorry it bothers you, but you’ll just have to suck it up: scholars have been calling this manuscript the Holkham Bible for a long time now, and are not likely to change that.

  5. FAC33 says:

    Although the stuffy purist in me balks at the term “cockney” (if the artist lived in Paternoster Row he was certainly no East Ender — and the text is mostly in Anglo-Norman rather than English) this looks to be a fascinating glimpse at popular concepts of religion in the 14th century. Anyone who’s ever seen any of the extant medieval mystery plays would likely be familiar with the presence of craftsmen and rich townsmen(who paid good money to be there) in the plays. Noah is very typically portrayed as a drunk, with his wife as a nag. We often assume that medieval people were stuffy about their religion. Quite the contrary, actually–a lively sense of humour is more typical. The Age of Faith was also an age of fart jokes.

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