SCA Persona Development Gleaned Through Paleography

While writing my recent post “How to Find the Script Your Persona Might Have Used” I came across an article relevant to Jehanne Bening, my SCA persona. The article described a manuscript production method used in Bruges and Delf. Would this have affected Jehanne’s illumination or life style? Jehanne is from the town of Bruges in the Duchy of Burgundy and works in the Sanders Bening workshop. Sanders, who died in 1519, was the father of the well-known illuminator Simon Bening. And his workshop produced many fine things for the Dukes of Burgundy. Around the 14th-century literacy increased and the new urban classes wanted affordable books. Manuscript production methods changed to accommodate this. The personal Book of Hours developed during that time. It contained fewer standard texts than the formal Psalter with some sections chosen by the buyer. The Book of Hours also differed in use from the Psalter. It was not always read from beginning to end. A section might be selected by the reader as needed or inspired. More whimsically. The Hague, KB, 71 H 56 fol. 1r In some areas, manuscripts became created by modular construction that divided labor efficiently. This benefited book owners, who could pick desired texts for their manuscript and expand or change their book after they bought it if they chose. They could also be made “generically” for an undetermined future buyer. More books could be sold and more money made for the manuscript producer. The modular production worked well when making a Book of Hours because their sections were individually chosen and […]

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