By: Harriet Cook
The new 'once in a generation' exhibition Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms: Art, Word, War opened at the British Library last week to wide acclaim. The exhibition offers an unparalleled insight into the origins of the English language and English literature and has been receiving fantastic reviews from press critics as well as members of the public on Twitter. Follow #BLAngloSaxons if you'd like to read just how excited some visitors have been by the sheer scale of the exhibition and the objects it has brought together.
Some of these objects include the Lindisfarne Gospels, Beowulf, Bede's Ecclesiastical History, the Domesday Book and the Codex Amiatinus. According to the exhibition's blurb, the Codex Amiatinus is a particularly interesting addition to the display given that it is the first time in 1,300 years that this Northumbrian Bible has returned to England since it was taken to Italy in 716.
The Parker Library in Cambridge have lent some 11 manuscripts to the exhibition, including the sixth century Gospels of Saint Augustine, a portrait of King Ã†thelstan offering a book to Saint Cuthbert and the small Winchester Troper. In a blog post published to mark the launch of the exhibition, Corpus Christi College state that they are 'proud that the Parker's loans take their rightful place alongside treasures from across Europe clearly showing that the "Dark Ages" really weren't "dark" at all'.
A 'blockbuster exhibition' according to Jonathan Jones from The Guardian, Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms will be open until mid-February 2019 and has inspired a range of courses and workshops at the BL which you can read more about here.
For in-depth descriptions of some of the objects on display, see this piece from History Extra and if you are interested in looking at some of the press reviews, you can do so by clicking here for the Guardian's review, here for The Evening Standard's and here for Time Out's.
Finally, if you would like to visit Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms, you can find out more information about tickets for the exhibition by clicking here.