Nicholas Love: Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ - England 1475

Nicholas Love: Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ. Manuscript: England 1475. MS Hunter 77 (T.3.15): Decorated page ending book 3 and beginning book 4 (folio 76r)

 

The Meditationes Vitae Christi, a devotional life of Christ originally written in Latin, was extremely popular throughout medieval Europe. The Mirror is a free translation of the work. It was made by Nicholas Love (d. 1424), a prior of the Carthusian Priory of Mount Grace in Yorkshire. Concentrating on the Passion, the Mirror dispenses meditative and doctrinal comment on the Bible. Its sixty three chapters are each split into seven sections, every section representing a day of the week.

 

This is a finely produced manuscript written in an expert script on good quality vellum. It boasts several floreated pages, with illuminated initials and decorative penwork throughout. Stephen Dodesham (d. 1481/82), its scribe, is identified from a contemporary inscription on a flyleaf. He was a monk of Witham Charterhouse near Frome, Somerset; he later moved to Sheen Charterhouse in Richmond, Surrey, founded by Henry V in 1414. Dodesham was a prolific scribe whose career began in the late 1420s; over twenty of his manuscripts survive, including two others in the Hunterian collection.

 

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