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Wendy Scase

Beyond the Bling

Hay Festival 2015, 

The Simeon manuscript is one of the most exceptional books of English literature ever made. It measures 590 x 390 mm, and is carefully copied and lavishly decorated with gold leaf on almost every page. It was made around 1400 AD. Containing songs, prayers, homilies, legends, and classic works of spiritual guidance, it is a massive compendium of literature for pious readers. Even more remarkable is that, unlike most books that survive from this period, it is written in English. Professor Scase examines the illustrations and brushwork to unlock its many secrets and disclose how, for whom and why it was made.

Wendy Scase