Largest ever Anglo-Saxon exhibition opens
The largest ever exhibition on the history, literature and culture of Anglo-Saxon England is now open at the British Library, with research from a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded student playing a vital role.
On loan to the British Library for the exhibition, the Alfred Jewel is a masterpiece of goldsmith's work formed around a tear-shaped slice of rock crystal. Its inscription: AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN – 'Alfred ordered me to be made’ – connects the jewel with King Alfred the Great (r. 871–899) making it among the most significant of royal relics. Image courtesy Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War spans all six centuries of the period, from the eclipse of Roman Britain in the 5th century to the Norman Conquest of 1066, presenting a once-in-a-generation opportunity to encounter original evidence from the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, a time when the English language was used and written for the first time and the foundations of the kingdom of England were laid down.
Rebecca Lawton, a PhD student funded by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), has been involved in the exhibition, drawing on her passion for medieval manuscripts.
“The highlight of my time at the British Library has been the opportunity to contribute towards the preparations for the Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition. I was often able to draw upon my PhD research, particularly when advising on the choice of page openings to use for particular manuscripts and when writing entries for the exhibition catalogue,” says Becky.
Bringing together the British Library’s outstanding collections alongside exceptional loans, exhibition highlights include the Domesday Book, the most famous book in English history; Codex Amiatinus, the earliest-surviving complete Bible in Latin; and a number of recently discovered archaeological objects including the Binham Hoard, the largest collection of gold from 6th century Britain.
Find out more about Becky’s contribution to the exhibition on AHRC’s website.
See more on the exhibition on the British Library website.
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