The Year 1483

    I’m easily seduced by ancient objects. The appearance is pretty much irrelevant; what counts is just extraordinary age.

Yesterday I found myself holding a book printed in 1483. Written by John Mandeville, an abbot, it’s a fantastical travelogue bearing about as much relationship to reality of any sort as you might expect from a monk who allegedly had never left the confines of his monastery to go visit the places he was describing. 

No matter. Gazing at the pristine pages of the oldest book in the collection of the legendary Leeds Library I felt strangely moved. Oddly and coincidentally, it’s entitled Travels in The Holy Land: the title of my most recent body of artwork. 
After 1483, we moved to 1586 and a pre-King James bible. Equally fascinating with its how-to-use-this-book guide, and Talmudic style commentary enfolding the main text (see below).

An unashamed bit of advertising: if you live in or around Leeds and love books, you can’t afford to not join this amazing library.



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