British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Illuminations: The Private Lives of Medieval Kings

Synopsis
A three-part television series in which art historian Dr Janina Ramirez tells the story of the Medieval monarchy as revealed through illuminated manuscripts from the British Library’s Royal Manuscripts collection. Embellished with gold, painted in jewel-like colour, these manuscripts took months, even years, to produce and were priceless beyond compare. Few people have ever seen them, other than the kings who owned them. As vibrant today as when they were first penned, they are miraculous survivors of a lost world. By using her expert knowledge to decode these manuscripts, Dr Ramirez offers us a unique insight into the lives of long-dead kings. From the rueful footnote detailing Edward II’s demise - ‘I am called the tumbledown king and all the world mocks me’ - to Henry VIII’s scribbled love notes to Anne Boleyn in the margins of his Bible, we see a succession of kings battling to shape an unruly nation and sometimes fighting for their lives. It’s an epic story which spans 800 years, beginning with the unification of England under the Anglo-Saxons, continuing with the 100 Years War with France, and ending with the brutal magnificence of Henry VIII.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2012
Year of production
2011
Availability
out of distribution
Notes
Broadcast in 3 weekly parts on BBC4 beginning 9/1/2012
Subjects
English language and literature; History
Keywords
history of Britain; illuminated manuscripts; medieval manuscripts; monarchy

Credits

Contributor
Janina Ramirez

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£15.00
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
177 minutes
Year
2012

Production Company

Name

Oxford Film and Television

Sponsor

Name

BBC Television

Distributor

Name

British Library Online Shop

Email
bl-shop@bl.uk
Web
http://shop.bl.uk/mall/departmentpage.cfm/BritishLibrary/87294/1/1 External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7412 7735
Address
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
Notes
A range of audio publications related to the collections of the British Library’s Sound Archive. Historical topics, wildlife sounds, world music, art and literature are particularly strongly represented. There are also a few DVDs, videos and CD-ROMs based on holdings in the BL. Some of the titles are available for paid audio download.

Record Stats

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