Christopher de Hamel is Donnelley Fellow Librarian of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was for many years responsible for sales of medieval illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s. He is the author of many books on medieval manuscripts and the history of book collecting. (February 2007)

The One and Only Book

It is difficult to know whether a medieval “Book of Hours” is really a book at all in the modern sense. It looks like a book and it contains texts and usually pictures, and most surviving copies are now kept on shelves in modern libraries. In the Middle Ages, however, …