A division of the American Library Association
Editorial Offices: 575 Main Street, Suite 300, Middletown, CT 06457-3445
Phone: (860) 347-6933
Fax: (860) 704-0465
FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY
Please do not link to this page.
Open Book Publishers
The following review appeared in the July 2017 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email email@example.com.
This is a wonderful and extraordinary book on a neglected subject, the afterlife of medieval manuscripts in the late medieval period. Rudy (Univ. of St. Andrews, Scotland) focuses on 15th-century manuscripts, especially books of hours, from the northern Netherlands. During that period, manuscripts were often produced to standard types, rather than being specially commissioned, and then sold. Rudy’s immensely scholarly but fascinating and beautifully written book shows how the manuscripts were subsequently adapted, and often readapted, to suit specific owners. Rudy discusses changes that did not require any rebinding (because the alterations were confined to margins or blank pages); changes that involved insertions and rebinding; and changes that were so extensive as to amount to an “overhaul” of the book. This fresh, engrossing study marks the beginning of a major trend in scholarship, a great achievement. The study is also unusual as a publication. The publisher makes it available in various formats—digital and print—and one of the digital versions is offered gratis in both PDF and HTML. The digital versions have a major advantage over the print because many of the illustrations discussed are available only online. The digital formats provide an URL in a footnote, and a click takes readers directly to the image being discussed; from the print version, readers need to key a long URL into a browser.--L. Nees, University of Delaware