Author: Mary Wellesley
About the Book:
Hidden Hands tells the stories of the artisans, artists, scribes and readers, patrons and collectors who made and kept the beautiful, fragile objects that have survived the ravages of fire, water and deliberate destruction to form a picture of both English culture and the wider European culture of which it is part.
Without manuscripts, she shows, many historical figures would be lost to us, as well as those of lower social status, women and people of colour, their stories erased, and the remnants of their labours destroyed.
From the Cuthbert Bible, to works including those by the Beowulf poet, Margery Kempe, Julian of Norwich, Sir Thomas Malory, Chaucer, the Paston Letters and Shakespeare, Mary Wellesley describes the production and preservation of these priceless objects. With an insistent emphasis on the early role of women as authors and artists and illustrated with over fifty colour plates, Hidden Hands is an important contribution to our understanding of literature and history.
About the Author:
Mary Wellesley studied English Language and Literature at Lincoln College, Oxford, before gaining a PhD from University College, London in 2017. She is now a full time free-lance writer but continues to teach courses on medieval language and literature as part of the British Library's Adult Learning programme. Her work has appeared in The London Review of Books, The New York Review of Books and The Times Literary Supplement, amongst others.