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2016.08.15 书的力量

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The power of the book
“Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts” will be the cultural bestseller of the season. Fiammetta Rocco meets the man who has examined more medieval manuscripts than anyone in history

Aug 16th 2016



By Fiammetta Rocco

Christopher de Hamel’s family came from pre-revolutionary France. A hundred years later they added the posh French particle “de” in an obligatory piece of Victorian bigging-up. Now they are socially secure, and de Hamel is as English as they come. As a boy, his pockets were weighed down by coins and medals; today his olive corduroy trousers are home to the keys of his kingdom – the Parker Library of medieval manuscripts where he is the Donnelley Fellow Librarian and where every book in his care, however rare and valuable, is stamped with the initials C.C.C.C. for Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

To visit the librarian in his lair is to meet a happy man. There is nothing de Hamel enjoys more than talking about manuscripts. He wrote his phd thesis on 12th-century biblical commentaries and spent 25 years at Sotheby’s, where, in 1983, he sold the magnificently illustrated Gospels of Henry the Lion of 1188 to the German government for a record £8.1m ($12m); the underbidder was J. Paul Getty junior. For the past 16 years he has been the Parker librarian, and he knows his bibliographic onions. “I’ve catalogued more medieval manuscripts than anyone alive, and probably more than anyone has ever done.” He has distilled a lifetime of obsession into a new book, “Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts”.

The week before I went to Cambridge to meet him I spent an hour that became two, three, four each evening, reading it. Since it doesn’t come out till September, all I had was a typescript, with no illuminations. That didn’t matter. Reading is my life, but only about once a decade do I find a book that seems to tilt the world, so afterwards it appears different.

Illuminating the past The 8th-century Northumbrian Gospels, held in the Parker Library MAIN IMAGE Christopher de Hamel with the frontispiece to Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Troilus and Criseyde”, early 15th century
The world de Hamel describes spans 1,000 years from the late sixth century, when people began to write in earnest, to 1520. He introduces the Irish “Book of Kells”, the Florentine “Codex Amiatinus” and the “Hours of Jeanne de Navarre”, the private prayer book of a French queen, as small as the palm of her hand, which was passed from princess to princess down the royal line to three queens of different countries, each a direct descendant of the canonised French king, Saint Louis, until it was looted on the personal orders of Hermann Göring.

But it all begins with St Augustine’s Gospel, which takes us back to de Hamel’s spiritual patron, Bishop Parker, and the Parker Library.

Parker, who studied at Corpus Christi, became Anne Boleyn’s chaplain. In 1559, when he was 55, her daughter, Elizabeth I, made him Archbishop of Canterbury, with instructions to cement the Reformation so that England could never again be Catholic. To that end, he accumulated 600 manuscripts, choosing books that fitted his agenda – not “Beowolf”, which is fiction and set in Denmark, but Old English gospels from the tenth century, books on the use of English rather than Latin in churches and by kings, books of royal coronations, books that provided evidence that England’s religion had English roots. He wrote the 39 articles that define Anglicanism as a free, independent English church, responsible to the king – with married priests and preaching in English. Both his working drafts, with all their corrections in red, and the original signed by the bishops of England and Wales and the deans of the chapters and the cathedrals, are in the Parker Library. Translated into English, they became the foundations of the established church that stated: “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England.”

Of Parker’s books, none was more important than St Augustine’s Gospel, which is why it is the first manuscript the reader encounters in de Hamel’s new book. St Luke is portrayed in the gospel as the authors of Greek books were, with a short grey beard, sitting on a marble throne reading. This was Christianity straight from St Peter. The gospel was commissioned by Gregory the Great, who sent Augustine to preach at Canterbury in 597. It was deposited in St Augustine’s Abbey there until Archbishop Parker got hold of it in the mid-16th century, and has only ever had two owners.

When Parker died in 1575, he left the manuscripts, which he held by permission of the Privy Council, to Corpus Christi. The only condition was that there should be an annual audit. If a single one was missing, the whole collection, together with the rare Tudor silver he bequeathed with it, would be forfeit to Gonville & Caius College, up the road. For four centuries, virtually no one was admitted; and even now the books leave only rarely. De Hamel took St Augustine’s Gospel to Westminster Abbey when Pope Benedict came to England in 2010. There it was blessed and kissed by both the pontiff and Rowan Williams, then Parker’s successor as Archbishop of Canterbury. And earlier this year, the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, summoned the primates of the Anglican Communion to Canterbury to discuss same-sex marriage. To inspire them, Pope Francis sent the ivory head of St Gregory’s crozier provided that the Gospel was also present.

As “Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts” explains, books have been carried in processions, used to swear oaths, burned, given as gifts, sometimes stolen. They have tremendous power. That seems to be as true now as it was 15 centuries ago.

photograph brian harris

"与了不起的手稿会面 "将成为本季的文化畅销书。菲亚梅塔-罗科会见历史上检查过更多中世纪手稿的人



克里斯托弗-德-哈梅尔的家族来自革命前的法国。一百年后,他们在维多利亚时代的一个必经之路上加上了法国的 "德 "字。现在,他们在社会上有了保障,而德-哈梅尔也像他们一样是英国人。小时候,他的口袋里装满了硬币和奖章;今天,他的橄榄色灯芯绒裤子里装着他的王国的钥匙--帕克图书馆的中世纪手稿,他是当纳利研究员图书管理员,在他看管的每本书上,无论多么稀有和珍贵,都印有剑桥大学圣体学院的缩写C.C.C。



照亮过去 帕克图书馆收藏的8世纪诺森比亚福音书 主要图片 克里斯托弗-德-哈梅尔与杰弗里-乔叟的《特洛伊罗斯和克里塞德》的正面插图,15世纪初
德-哈梅尔描述的世界跨越了1000年,从第六世纪末人们开始认真写作到1520年。他介绍了爱尔兰的 "凯尔斯之书"、佛罗伦萨的 "阿米亚提努斯法典 "和 "让娜-德-纳瓦拉的小时",这是一位法国王后的私人祈祷书,小到她的手掌,从公主到公主,再到不同国家的三位王后,每一位都是被封为教皇的法国国王圣路易的直系后代,直到它被赫尔曼-戈林亲自下令掠夺。


在基督圣体学习的帕克成为安妮-波林的牧师。1559年,当他55岁时,她的女儿伊丽莎白一世任命他为坎特伯雷大主教,并指示他巩固宗教改革,使英国再也不能成为天主教国家。为此,他积累了600份手稿,选择了符合他的议程的书籍--不是以丹麦为背景的虚构的 "Beowolf",而是十世纪的古英语福音书,关于教堂和国王使用英语而不是拉丁语的书籍,皇家加冕仪式的书籍,提供英格兰的宗教有英国根源的证据的书籍。他写了39条,将英国圣公会定义为一个自由、独立的英国教会,对国王负责--有已婚牧师,用英语布道。他的工作草案,以及由英格兰和威尔士的主教以及各分会和大教堂的院长签署的原件,都在帕克图书馆里,其中所有的更正都用红色字体标注。翻译成英文后,它们成为既定教会的基础,指出:"。"罗马主教在英格兰这个领域没有管辖权"。


1575年帕克去世后,他将这些经枢密院许可持有的手稿留给了圣体。唯一的条件是每年要进行一次审计。如果有一份遗失,整个收藏品,连同他遗留的罕见的都铎银器,都将被没收到路边的冈维尔和凯斯学院。四个世纪以来,几乎没有人被允许进入;即使是现在,这些书也很少离开。2010年教皇本尼迪克特来英国时,德-哈梅尔把圣奥古斯丁的福音书带到了威斯敏斯特教堂。在那里,教皇和当时帕克作为坎特伯雷大主教的继任者罗文-威廉姆斯都对它进行了祝福和亲吻。今年早些时候,新任坎特伯雷大主教贾斯汀-韦尔比(Justin Welby)在坎特伯雷召集了英国圣公会的元老们,讨论同性婚姻。为了激励他们,教皇弗朗西斯送来了圣格雷戈里的象牙头像,条件是福音书也在现场。

正如 "与杰出手稿会面 "所解释的那样,书籍在游行中被携带,用于宣誓,被烧毁,作为礼物赠送,有时被盗。它们具有巨大的力量。现在看来,这一点与15个世纪前一样正确。

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