Latin Psalter manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library


Laura Cleaver & Helen Conrad O'Briain

Hardback €36.00
Catalogue Price: €40.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-560-6
March 2015. 104pp; full colour illustrations, large format.

‘A beautifully written and illustrated introduction to the Psalters in the libraries of Trinity College and the Chester Beatty’, Alison Stones, Renaissance Quarterly (2016).

‘Slim in format and heavy in insights, this book is a peculiar hybrid. It is not a robust academic catalogue or a glossy exhibition catalogue or a coffee-table book, but it manages to combine some of the most appealing features of all three. Elegantly designed and richly illustrated in (almost) full colour, it is a pleasure to hold, look at and leaf through … a publication that invites an intimate study of Dublin’s treasures’, Stella Panayotova, Times Literary Supplement (February 2016).

‘This is a little gem of a book … The two Chester Beatty psalters are a pleasant surprise … The book has a wealth of beautiful colour illustrations as well as details of texts and decoration. The introductory essays on the role of the psalter, the art-historical background, and the owners (Archbishop James Ussher and Chester Beatty) are models of succinctness, and the various bibliographies very useful. Authors and publishers are to be congratulated on a very handsome publication’, Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Irish Arts Review (Sept/Nov 2015).

‘Among the treasures of Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library are a number of manuscripts containing the Book of Psalms. This small and beautifully illustrated volume presents each of these unique manuscripts in an informative and attractive way, and in doing so provides a fascinating introduction to medieval Psalter books … The book is filled with high quality colour reproductions from the Psalters in question, full-page images and well-chosen details. It recent years there have been a number of publications designed to make collections of medieval manuscripts in Irish repositories better known. The editors’ evident enthusiasm for and knowledge of the subject, and the excellent quality of the images, makes this one of the most successful’, Michael Staunton, Studia Hibernica (2016).

‘Many readers will find these Psalters strangely moving. This book is illustrated with magnificent images from these marvels of small scale illumination, which are often breath-taking … For the ordinary reader this book is a reminder of the wonderful treasures which our national libraries hold … The advantage of a book like this, which can be easily handled, is that the true brilliance of the images, the delicacy of the craft, the beauty of the layout and the hand writing can all be appreciated in all their finest detail. Truly here is a new world to explore’, Peter Costello, Irish Catholic (March 2015).

‘This is a charming and well-produced book, beautifully laid out  … The book is lavishly illustrated, and the illustrations seem to have excellent color and to be well reproduced from the relevant manuscripts … There are some lovely analyses of images connecting with the words of the psalms … This is a lovely book, pleasingly structured for a general audience and with quite excellent illustrations. It would serve as a good introduction to the psalms in these two libraries’, M.J. Toswell, Speculum (October 2016).

‘Laura Cleaver and Helen Conrad O’Briain join forces to showcase the rich and varied collection of Latin psalter manuscripts in two Dublin libraries … the book is well executed, beautiful and contains superb photography. The catalogue is clear, uniform and consistent, and allows a good view of each manuscript, its current state and its past life’, A.M.S. Van Renterghem, Nottingham Medieval Studies (2016).