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Christianity "Pocket" Bible with Marginal Commentaries

Bible, in Latin. William de Brailes and followers, illuminators. England, ca. 1230–1240. NYPL, Manuscripts and Archives Division.

This small English manuscript has enjoyed a long and active afterlife, having been extensively annotated by several generations of users, well into the succeeding two centuries. The marginalia, which cumulatively interpret the biblical text, quote Gratian’s Decretum, Nicholas of Lyra’s Postillae, and passages to be used as readings for daily prayers.

The illuminations and other decorative elements can be assigned to the circle of artists affiliated with William de Brailes, who is well-documented from the manuscripts that emerged from his workshop in Oxford in the 1230s. The border decoration of the first page featured in the gallery depicts God and the works of Creation.

View more images from this 13th-century Bible in the Library's Digital Gallery.

Library Catalog Record