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The Book of Kells is the richest and most copiously illustrated book of in the Celto-Saxon style that still survives. However, despite its rarity and fame, there is little that is known about it. Reproducing over sixty of the wonderful images from the book itself, this guide describes the hidden meanings behind the illustrations and opens our eyes to the history behind them. Picking out the most interesting, beautiful and unique images from the 339 vellum leaves that comprise the book as a whole, it gives an illuminating insight into the manuscript and its creation. Published to coincide with St Patrick's Day, this book will appeal to everyone from the hundreds of thousands of people visiting the Book of Kells every year, to those interested in history, art or ancient artefacts and anyone with a passion for beautiful objects.
The Book of Kells, less widely known as the Book of Columba, is an ornately illustrated manuscript, produced by Celtic monks around AD 800 in the style known as Insular art. It is one of the more lavishly illuminated manuscripts to survive from the Middle Ages and has been described as one of the greatest examples of Western calligraphy and illumination. It contains the four gospels of the Bible in Latin, along with prefatory and explanatory matter decorated with numerous colourful illustrations and illuminations. Today it is on permanent display at the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland where it attracts over 500,000 visitors per year.