Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings
Art historian Janina Ramirez investigates what illuminated manuscripts commissioned for the kings of England between the ninth and 16th centuries reveal about the evolution of the country's art, culture and monarchy.
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Latest Episodes

  • Season 1 Episode 3: Libraries Gave Us Power

    Art historian Janina Ramirez concludes her exploration of medieval illuminated manuscripts by exploring texts from the Tudor period, including astrological works created for Henry VII, as well as the king's will - which is still stored in its original cover at the British Library. She also examines love notes between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and visits the Belgian city of Bruges, the source of many of the era's most famous manuscripts

  • Season 1 Episode 2: What a King Should Know

    Janina Ramirez explores how illuminated manuscripts contributed to the education of England's medieval princes and kings. She discovers why Edward III's childhood reading helped him prepare for the Battle of Crecy in 1346 - one of the most important conflicts of the Hundred Years War - and learns how texts plundered during foreign campaigns were adapted for use by the younger members of the royal family. She also examines how literature helped reinforce national identity in times of crisis and spread knowledge among the wider population

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Ruling by the Book

    Art historian Janina Ramirez investigates what illuminated manuscripts commissioned for the kings of England between the ninth and 16th centuries reveal about the evolution of the country's art, culture and monarchy. She begins by exploring the British Library's collection of royal manuscripts, encountering books more than 1,000 years old and learning about the first Anglo-Saxon rulers to create a united England. She also visits Westminster Abbey to view the Liber Regalis, which has provided the basis for the order of service for all coronations since Richard II's in 1377

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Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

Episode Guide (3) | Cast & Credits (1)
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