A new perspective on Anglo-Saxon Britain.
This period witnessed one of the great shifts in human history. It included the transformation of the world of late Roman antiquity into a patchwork of successor states, each with emergent identities, which coalesced into empires and nations. This process is explored here in the British Isles, with reference to neighbouring Ireland, through the medium of the manuscript book – one of the greatest and most effective agents of change and preservers of tradition. Through the pages of contemporary volumes and documents a series of fascinating issues are addressed, including levels of literacy, social perception of the significance of word and image and their generation and reception within ‘communities of reading’. Whilst few people actually read themselves, many saw and interpreted and all were affected.