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Harvey Miller
A. Derolez
The Making and Meaning of the Liber Floridus
A Study of the Original Manuscript, Ghent, University Library, MS 92

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IV+355 p., 22 b/w ill. + 98 colour ill., 148 b/w line art, 240 x 280 mm, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-909400-22-1
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 125,00 excl. tax
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The Liber Floridus (1121), composed, written and illustrated by Canon Lambert of Saint-Omer, is the earliest illustrated encyclopedic compilation of the Latin West. Its autograph (Ghent, University Library, MS 92), a masterpiece of Romanesque book art and one of the most complicated manuscripts ever made, has been studied by the author for almost half a century. The present book is the culmination of this research and provides a detailed codicological and textual analysis, showing how this wonderful book was put together and which are the hidden ideas Lambert sought to develop in its hundreds of texts and pictures dealing with astronomy, geography, natural history, history, religion and countless other subjects.

The book is illustrated with some 100 colour reproductions and numerous diagrams of quire structures. Three tables help the reader to understand the author’s argument, and full indices give access to the text and provide the basis for further investigation of individual chapters and pictures.


“The book (...) is splendid, and Derolez deserves much praise for his elucidation of the contents and structure of the Liber Floridus, a medieval book to whose scholarship he has made important contributions throughout his career..” (Ephraim Nissan, in Philology, 2016)

“The Making and Meaning of the Liber Floridus places this fascinating codex at the figurative fingertips of scholars and students across the world. It could be a wonderful resource for teaching the history of the book or codicology at universities that lack medieval manuscripts, and this reviewer is already designing a class project around it.” (Mary Franklin- Brown, in Manuscript Studies, 2/2, 2017, p.572)

« L’immense mérite du livre d’A.D. et son dossier exhaustif des images du Liber Floridus est ainsi de nous faire sentir, au plus près des citations invoquées et de leur mise en page, les méandres d’une pensée habitée par l’attente de la fin du monde. » (Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, dans Le Moyen Âge, 123/2, 2017, p. 413)

« Le Liber Floridus reste une création exceptionnelle de l'art médiéval, tant pour la force d’expression des peintures que pour les thèmes retenus, souvent hautement inventifs. Le très riche ouvrage que Derolez vient de nous donner sera désormais l' outil premier et essentiel à utiliser pour comprendre la place qu'y prennent chacun des éléments qui le composent, texte ou illustration, et pour saisir l'histoire de leur genèse. » (Christian Heck, dans Bulletin Monumental, 175/1, 2017, p. 89)

Interest Classification:
Book History, Manuscript Studies & Palaeography
Fine Arts & Performing Arts
Medieval painting

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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