An illustrated guide to the Book of Kells

The Book of Kells - Ben Mackworth-Praed

I wish I learnt something simple from every book that I read but unfortunately that is not always the case. I doubt I am going to learn anything from the book that I am currently reading (the Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah) but I can say that I actually learnt something from this book, and that is what 'The Book of Kells' actually is. When I first bought this book I thought that it was some Irish legend but as it turns out the Book of Kells is actually a very old Latin version of the bible (or the four Gospels to be precise).

Now, if it was just any old ancient copy of the bible (or the gospels) then I doubt anybody would actually write a book (even a little book) about it. Well, okay, there are lots and lots of books written about the bible (and the gospels in particular) but we are not talking about a commentary or some other Christian book here but rather a version of the gospels themselves. The thing about the Book of Kells is that it is a beautifully illustrated version of the gospels with so much detail going into almost every word the book is a work of art in and of itself.

Somebody mentioned that the problem with this book (that is the book about the Book of Kells and not the Books of Kells itself) is that it is a really small book which means that the plates of the Book of Kells that it represents are really small and it is really difficult to see the detail. This book (I won't go through that again because I assume you know which book I am referring to and which book I am not) also examines the various pictures and plates that is shows. However, instead of going on any further I think I might just show you a couple of the plates here so you know what I am talking about.

 


 

This I believe is the Book of Kells but it has been somewhat mutilated (probably because it spent quite some time buried underground, and then another long time hidden in some archbishop's attic).

 


 

These are some of the letters that are used in the Book of Kells. I wonder if Microsoft Word has a font like this, and if I can actually get away writing an essay using that font.