Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History, vol. 25

Manuscripts and their Makers

Commercial Book Producers in Medieval Paris 1200-1500

Richard H. Rouse, Mary A. Rouse

  • Pages: 832 p.
  • Size:220 x 285 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2000

Out of Print
  • ISBN: 978-1-872501-41-3
  • Hardback
  • Out of Print

This two-volume publication examines commercial book production in Paris, covering the years 1200 to 1500 - from the time when reliable documentary evidence of the trade first became available until the advent of print.


"This book is a landmark in the study of medieval books and illumination; the wealth of information, the detailed argument, the anecdotes and the rigorous analysis make it a delight to read and to have at hand." (R. Watson in National Art Library

"The reception for Manuscripts and their Makers in academic circles recognises the importance of the work for anyone concerned in any way with the manufacture and art of the medieval book."  (A. Payne in The Art Newspaper

"... a long, complex and highly detailed study, but not only is it profoundly researched, it is beautifully written and both pleasurable and fascinating to read." (J. Lowden in Times Literary Supplement

"... it will be mined as a source of ideas and information for many years to come." (J. Lowden in Times Literary Supplement

"Art historians constantly run the risk of reconstructing a past in which the exceptional comes to be regarded as the norm. Richard and Mary Rouses' book is a wonderful corrective, because its range is so enormous. I salute it. After reading it, you will never look at another manuscript - illuminated or not - in quite the same way." (J. Lowden in Times Literary Supplement

"The Rouses have succeeded not just in creating a reference work that will be indispensible to historians of various disciplines, but in laying out a web of interconnections..." (E. Moodey in Historians of Netherlandish Art Newsletter, 19.1, 2002)

"That the Rouses' text is also clearly and cogently argued and beautifully written, and thus a pleasure to read, only increases the study's worth. (...) Manuscripts and Their Makers will be carefully read and repeatedly consulted by students of the medieval book for many decades, if not many generations, to come." (G.T. Clark in CAA.Reviews)

"Historians, libraries, and lovers of Paris will not regret the investment they make in purchasing this most attractive set." (International Review of Biblical Studies vol.48 2001/2002, 2093)

"(...) Mary et Richard Rouse viennent de publier un ouvrage magistrale sur le commerce du livre à Paris du XIIe au XVe siècle ou plus exactement sur les manuscrits et leurs artisans." (M.-H. Tesnière dans Revue fraçaise d'histoire du livre, Nos 114-115, 1er & 2e trimestres, 2002, p. 227-230)

"Zweifellos ist Richard und Mary Rouse damit ein Meilenstein in der Geschichte der mittelalterlichen Handschriftenforschung gelungen - ein Handbuch, das seinesgleichen sucht." (M. Krieger in Journal für Kunstgeschichte, Jahrgang 8, 2004, Heft 3, p.204-212)


This two-volume publication examines in depth the organization, craftsmen, clients and products of the commercial book trade in Paris from 1200 to 1500, a time when the city was the uncontested centre of commercial manuscript pro- duction in Northern Europe. The first volume deals with the establishment of the Paris book trade, how it functioned and how it changed, always as a closeknit community of families whose lives are reconstructed from archives and from the manuscripts they produced. These chapters are documented with maps, diagrams, genealogies and illustrations of the manuscripts involved. The second volume contains a register of some 1200 short biographies of mem- bers of the medieval book trade in Paris, including scribes and illuminators such as Master Honoré and Jean Pucelle. This important study, based on the series of Lyell Lectures in Bibliography recently given at the University of Oxford, makes a significant contribution to the history of art, the history of French Literature, the history of the book and the history of medieval Paris.