Page from the itinerary from London to the Holy Land with images of towns, their names, and descriptions of places, with attached pieces, including the city of Rome to the right; from Matthew Paris, Historia Anglorum, Chronica majora, Part III, England (St Albans), 1250-1259, Royal 14 C. vii, f. 4r
Robert Heinlein (July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988), the “Dean of American Science Fiction”, looking very handsome in his Naval Academy Uniform in 1929. Heinlein is perhaps the most celebrated American Science Fiction author (along with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke). He began writing and publishing after being discharged from the Navy, where he had served as a communications officer on the USS Lexington. During his career he won four Hugo Awards and the Grand Master Award bestowed by the Science Fiction Writers of America for lifetime achievement. Heinlein’s work shows his interest in sexual and social liberation. His 1962 novel Stranger in a Strange Land is still considered a masterpiece of the genre. After a long and prolific career, he died of heart failure in 1988.
Another photograph from the archives at Cornell University. This one is of the Bodleian Library (Old Schools Quadrangle), although it is mislabelled on Flickr as Brasenose College. I know it’s the Bodleian, because I used to work there! The tower is known as the tower of the five orders, because it showcases different architectural styles.
The photograph is thought to date from between 1865 and 1885.
Pretty medieval manuscript of the day is a bonus… you get all the images from one manuscript in one HUGE photo. I think it’s rather fab, although it does take a while to load.
It’s a Book of Hours which was commissioned by Francois du Pou sometime around 1480. It was decorated by an artist from the school of Jean Bourdichon. I need to do some more homework to learn a little more about it.
Viewed up close, the illuminations are stunning. The use of light and shade, and gold leaf, and all those birds in the borders. It just makes me gasp. The grotesque grim reaper in the final image, at odds with the opulent jewel encrusted border. It really does marry the sacred with the inexplicably bizarre. I love it!
Like most images I reproduce here, it is from Wikimedia Commons. I try really hard to observe the copyright of material, which means there are an awful lot of images I’d like to share on this blog - but can’t! In future I may have to just share links not images, although that would be rather less fun.