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culture: Book of Hours is new addition.

THE latest addition to the Palace Green library is an illuminated Book of Hours.

These were books of prayers and devotions used by lay people and were the bestsellers of the 15th Century.

Durham's new acquisition is a well-preservedi example dating from the last quarter of that century, and was designed to delight the eye as well as to improve the heart and mind. It is illuminated throughout.

Every page of text is enhanced with border decoration while the calendar at the start is illustrated with vignettes showing occupations appropriate to each month plus zodiac signs.

The manuscript was written in Rouen, France, a centre of book production during the later stages of the Hundred Years War and continued to supply British as well as French clients long after the expulsion of the English from Normandy.

The Durham Hours book cost pounds 17,500 and the purchase was backed by a pounds 10,000 donation from a former Durham student.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2008
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