Medieval manuscript goes on show

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A medieval manuscript kept at Stonyhurst since 1837 is the centrepiece of a major new exhibition.

The illustrated copy of the Chronicles of John Froissart, a lively account of the Hundred Years War, is taking pride of place in a specially-designed “treasury” at Leeds Amouries.

Visitors can explore the Froissart illustrations in detail and follow a story in the Chronicles, using interactive touch screens. Six “virtual” manuscripts, never seen together before, have been created for the exhibition.

“The Chronicles of Froissart: from conflict to co-operation” offers a unique view of the Hundred Years War between England and France and demonstrates modern international collaboration between the UK, France and Belgium, the Royal Armouries Museum, the University of Sheffield and four major European libraries.

Curators, scholars and conservators have worked with photographers, designers and programmers to share the books with as broad a public as possible.

Stonyhurst acquired the Chronicles of Froissart in 1837 when James Arundell, 10th Baron Wardour, bequeathed his substantial library to the College. The book had been in his family for more than 400 years, brought back from the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 by his ancestor Sir John Arundell, a famous soldier.

Jan Graffius, Stonyhurst Curator, said: “The Froissart Chronicles are exquisitely illustrated and provide an important contemporary view of the thoughts and views of some of the people who lived through the turbulent war-torn years of the 14th Century.

“We are delighted to be able to share their contents with a wider audience. Our manuscript is just about contemporary with Froissart himself, and its lavish illumination and gold leaf decoration proves it must have been a very valuable possession.”

The exhibition also features medieval arms and weapons, including rare pieces never publicly displayed before, and explains how to make a manuscript and how people wrote in the Middle Ages.

It will run for four months and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Entry is free and events will include workshops on manuscript illumination, illustrated talks by curators and invited speakers and medieval music concerts.

in Advertiser and Times