Tuesday, 15 December 2020

15th December - Advent photo

 Compared to most  of my Christmas books this is a newer addition to my shelves.

I borrowed this from the library last year or the year before and loved all the illustrations so much that I bought a cheap copy. But when my paperback copy arrived it was completely different to the hardback library copy.
In the hardback the illustrations were full page and in colour but in my paperback they are mainly black and white and much smaller, as is the print size ............disappointing  .


The description from Amazon ..................
" Medieval Christmas roaring fires, Yule logs, boar s head on a platter and carols. So many of our best-loved traditions have their origins in the medieval period that it would be impossible to imagine the season without holly and ivy, carol singers calling from door to door and a general sense of celebration in the face of the harshest season. Sophie Jackson investigates the roots of the Christmas celebration in this beautifully illustrated book. She offers guidance for re-creating elements of the medieval Christmas at home, tips on decorations, instructions for playing medieval games and recipes for seasonal dishes. Fascinating facts about some of our most cherished customs, such as the nativity crib, are unearthed, as are some that are less well known wassailing the apple trees, the ritual beating of children on 28 December and the appointment of a Lord of Misrule and a boy bishop. Lively and entertaining, this book illuminates the medieval Christmas, showing how the traditions of the Middle Ages continue to delight us today."
A couple of weeks ago I watched the Christmas edition of The Tudor Monastery Farm where they baked a cake with a dried pea inside - the person finding it became The Lord of Misrule and  Wassailing apple trees I knew about and have been doing it for years, Boy Bishops I'd heard of and they probably still do that in the Very High Church in the village I'm moving to but the ritual beating of children on the 28th??!! .............it's a good thing that tradition has been lost in time!
A few of the illustrations that are in colour in my book. 
The first is from Les tres riches heures du Duc de Berry by the Limbourg brothers. I wanted to find out more and discovered this.........
 " Très Riches Heures is probably the most important illuminated manuscript of the 15th century, "le roi des manuscrits enluminés" ("the king of illuminated manuscripts"). It is a very richly decorated Book of Hours containing over 200 folios, of which about half are full page illustrations. 
It was painted sometime between 1412 and 1416 by the Limbourg brothers  for their patron Jean Duc De Berry and finished by Jean Colombe between 1485-1489. "
The text beside the picture says "In the depths of winter, greenery brought hope of renewed life, although this farm has yet to be decorated."
I also found that the picture above illustrates February so not a Christmas picture at all - hence no greenery!
Below two more medieval illuminations from the book

Thanks to everyone for comments, apologies for not replying and it's good to hear the Christmas crime books have arrived at their destinations in plenty of time for Christmas reading - Good Old Royal Mail.
Back Tomorrow



  1. Morning! In the February illustration - I rather think the young lady will catch her death of cold in that blue frock showing her ankles. Im also fascinated by medieval art - very distinctive facial features - I wonder if that was a 'style' or if humans were more round of cheek and bug eyed! They all seem to be having a jolly time. I wonder what the chaps at the side are whispering about?

  2. I love illuminated manuscripts. They are so detailed, and the colours are so vibrant. Mind you, pandemic or not, I'm glad I live in the 21st century and not medieval times!

  3. I can see how you could easily become hooked on looking at such pictures Sue - they really do ring the meaning of Christmas alive.

  4. How disappointing that the borrowed hardback edition was so different from the paperback :-(

    I can see why you would want a copy of your own, some pictures just need poring over don't they. I think the Royal Mail and delivery companies in general are doing amazingly well this year. Things I have ordered one day have arrived a day or so later with emails arriving late at night to say things have been despatched, and then the postie turning up with them. Even Ziffit are on top form I have just sent off another box of books from me scanning my books and sending the list to pick up in less than 48 hours.

  5. Those illustrations are beautiful! I too, am glad the annual beating of children seems to have fallen by the wayside! -Jenn

  6. I recorded the Tudor Farm, and haven't got round to watching it yet, I do love the way such programmes give a real feeling for what life was like. Grateful for a warm home, and a cooker that comes on at the flick of a switch, and fresh water from a tap. Oh, and very grateful for lightweight but warm clothing!

  7. Sue,
    I think you have been a quiet “ trooper “ over the last year
    Where as I’m always verbalising my pain
    Thank you for your card
    It means a great deal Xx

  8. Those illustrations are gorgeous!!

    There was an annual beating of the children tradition? Boy am I glad that isn't done any longer. Some traditions need to be gotten rid of.

    God bless.