For a full study of the Murthly Hours see John Higgitt's The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West, published in 2000 by The British Library and the University of Toronto Press in association with the National Library of Scotland.
At the time of his death, on 27 December 2006, John Higgitt was a Reader in History of Art within the School of Arts, Culture and Environment at the University of Edinburgh. He was the author of many publications on various aspects of medieval visual culture and had particular interests in medieval inscriptions, early medieval art in Britain and Ireland, and the manuscripts of medieval Scotland. The extent of the National Library of Scotlandís debt to his scholarship and enthusiasm is self-evident throughout this Murthly Hours web feature.
The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West examines the text and illumination of the manuscript, and traces its history from the 13th century to the present. The book also discusses broader issues concerning contemporary illumination in France and England, the early book of hours, literacy and illuminated manuscripts in medieval Scotland, aristocratic taste, and the meaning of the marginal imagery. It also includes an edition and discussion by Ronald Black of Gaelic charms and other fragments included in the manuscript and which may be the second oldest examples of Gaelic written in Scotland.
For anyone with a serious interest in the history of medieval art, manuscripts, private devotion and literacy, or in the history of 13th-century England and later medieval Scotland, John Higgitt's book is an essential companion.
John Higgitt, The Murthly Hours: Devotion, Literacy and Luxury in Paris, England and the Gaelic West, The British Library Studies in Medieval Culture (London: The British Library; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000). 392pp, 11 col. plates, 143 b&w ills, 5 tables. Price £50.00 (UK); $80.00 (Canada). ISBN 0 7123 04639 2 (UK); ISBN 0 8020 4759 9 (Canada).
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