Gems — 03 July 2013

Maria Popova writes about the complaints by medieval monks that were found scribbled in the margins of illuminated manuscripts.

The history of bookmaking hasn’t been without its challenges, but never was its craft as painstaking as during the era of illuminated manuscripts. Joining the ranks of history’s most appalling and amusing complaints, like this Victorian list of don’ts for female cyclists or young Isaac Newton’s self-professed sins, is an absolute treat for lovers of marginalia such as myself — a collection of complaints monks scribbled in the pages of illuminated manuscripts.

Oh my hand

This gem comes from the Spring 2012 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly, entitled ‘Means of Communication’.