Audio podcasts from the Designing English Exhibition.
This exhibition will illustrate the graphic design of handwritten manuscripts and inscriptions for the first thousand years of English, across the Middle Ages.
Showcasing the Bodleian Library's rich holdings of medieval manuscripts in English, ranging from Old English picture books or notes scratched into herbals, through fragments of medieval songs scribbled on spare pages, to masterpieces framed with illustrations and gold, or new page designs for practical tasks, such as manuals for handling swans. It will cover the experiences of both the makers and the users of writing: how craftspeople planned and made books, and how readers responded to their designs.
Teach us how we may pray
AElfric of Eynsham teaches the congregation to recite the Lord’s Prayer in English, 'Thu ure faeder'. MS. Hatton 115, fol. 10r. Composed 990-995, copied in the second half of the 1000s. Read by Andy Orchard.
Come and dance with me in Ireland
The lyrics of dance songs about love and longing, jotted down without music. MS. Rawl. D. 913, fol. 1r-v. Copied in the early 1300s. Read by Helen Appleton, Daniel Wakelin.
If it be played
In the play The Burial of Christ, Joseph, Mary Magdalen and three other women cry out when they see Jesus on the Cross. MS. e Musaeo 160, fol. 141r. Copied c. 1518–1520. Read by Helen Appleton, Angela O'Brien, Daniel Sawyer, Wing Tan Lai.
First entereth Wisdom
In the play Wisdom, the devil tempts three godly people into sins – lust and other ‘French fashions’. MS. Digby 133, fol. 158r. Copied in the late 1400s. Read by Arka Chakraborty, Matthew Day, Ben Sims, Daniel Sawyer.
Listeneth now and beth not deaf!
A travelling preacher recites a poem, warning about the horrors of death. MS. Add. E. 6 (R). Copied in the late 1200s. Read by Daniel Wakelin.
‘Make we joy now in this feast’
A carol for Christmas, ‘Nowell nowell nowell’, from a book of church music. MS. Arch. Selden B. 26, fol. 14v. Copied in the mid 1400s.