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REF NO.: 278

SUBJECT: Henrietta Harvey Distinguished Lecturer to talk about England on the eve of the Black Death
DATE: March 30, 2005

Dr. Michelle Brown, a distinguished palaeographer and art historian, will present a lecture titled The Luttrell Psalter: England on the Eve of the Black Death on Friday, April 1, at 4 p.m.in room A-1045 of the Arts and AdministrationBuildingon Memorial’s St. John’scampus.

The 14th century has often been called “the worst century ever.'' It was a time of warfare, devastating plague and social upheaval. It was also a time of great literary and artistic creativity and of growing personal piety. The Luttrell Psalter was made for the lord of the manor of Irnham in Lincolnshireand more than any object from the Middle Ages it was customized to reflect his view of society, eternity and his place within them. Its margins are peopled with scenes from contemporary life, from peasant women to queens, from peddlers and troubadours to popes, and by a riot of lively grotesques that parody it. In the lecture we will get to know the patron, the book's makers and the England of the early 14th century in new and challenging ways, by “reading” its images.

For the past 18 years, Dr Michelle Brown has been the curator of medieval and illuminated manuscripts at the British Library. She has curated several major exhibitions, including Heirs of Rome and Painted Labyrinth: the World of the Lindisfarne Gospels and has published, broadcasted and lectured widely on medieval history, art history and manuscript studies. She is also a lay canon and chapter member of St Paul's Cathedral, London.

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