Life and Learning is the adult education arm of Hereford Cathedral, working to broaden understanding and debate in theology, social issues and the arts. Whilst we aren't able to come together for our normal lectures, we will be sharing talks from members of our community online.

Medieval Faces

This series of four short films takes a close look at some of the tiny faces hiding inside the medieval manuscript books in the cathedral's renowned Chained Library. Cathedral Librarian Rosemary Firman asks: Who are they? Why are they there and what are they trying to tell us? Why are such curious and sometimes scary creatures lurking in the margins?

Medieval Faces 4: Here be dragons (and dogs)

The final film looks at some of the more weird and wonderful beasts that appear in manuscript illumination. Why do dragons (and strange dogs) haunt the pages of medieval Christian texts?

Medieval Faces 3: Mayhem in the margins

The third in a series of four short talks looking at images of human and other beings in the cathedral’s medieval manuscripts. The margins are places where the normal rules don’t seem to apply and all manner of weird and wonderful creatures abound. From a black rabbit to a gurning face, what might be expected to be a staid and rather dull textbook of Church law is full of surprises.

Medieval Faces 2: Eloquent Gestures

Skilled medieval artists were careful to make their messages clear through the careful depiction of hand gestures which still have meaning for us today.

Medieval Faces 1: What's going on here?

In a decorated medieval book each new chapter or section is typically marked out with a miniature painting. These contain visual clues which can help us puzzle out the stories they tell.

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