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The Lindisfarne Moment

In response to:

The Egyptian Connection from the October 23, 2008 issue

To the Editors:

William Dalrymple’s erudite article “The Egyptian Connection” [NYR, October 23] laments the British Library’s failure to showcase the Lindisfarne Gospels in the manner of Trinity College’s elegant setting for the Book of Kells.

There has been one exception to this unfortunate state of affairs. In 2003 the library mounted an exhibition entitled “Painted Labyrinth: The World of the Lindisfarne Gospels,” brilliantly curated by Michelle P. Brown, whose later book on the Lindisfarne Gospels is one of the works reviewed in Mr. Dalrymple’s article. Dr. Brown located the Lindisfarne Gospels in the context of neighboring displays of Continental, Asian, Coptic, and Islamic art of approximately the same period, discreetly allowing visitors to draw their own conclusions. Her forty-eight-page catalog for the exhibition, published by the British Library, is a helpful introduction to the topic.

Hugh McManus
Scarsdale, New York

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