Friday, 20 February 2009

In which I play some more in Dublin, and fail to see the Book of Kells

Tuesday 17th February – the day of the Chapters bookshop Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer reading and ukulele playing event….

Again, this was in the evening (due to start at 5 p.m.) and so I had some more time to play with Dublin. I headed back into the city, and made my way back o Dublin Castle to the Chester Beatty Library, which has a collection of manuscripts and includes 3 exhibitions. One, ‘ Arts of the Book’ has manuscripts ranging from Egyptian papyri to Chinese jade books to medieval illuminated manuscripts, the second had exhibits from the 3 religions – Christianity, Islam & Buddhism, which was fascinating. The Christian section included further illuminated medieval gospels, some early papyri copies of the (parts of) the gospels, and some Coptic manuscripts which were interesting as the pictures showed Christ and the disciples with a distinctly African appearance, but otherwise (to my in-expert eye) very similar to the European manuscripts. The Islamic display had a number of beautifully decorated copies of the Qu’ran – these were fascinating, particularly having seen similar patterns in tiles and manuscripts in turkey. I liked the Buddhist mandela’s and documents but didn’t find them as emotionally appealing – maybe because they are culturally more distant and unfamiliar?

There was also a temporary exhibition – ‘Artists Proof’ – 24 prints, each displayed with 2 proof copies so you could see where the artists had made changes – fascinating!

After leaving the Chester Beatty I spent a little while playing with the Labyrinth in the Dublin Castle garden, before heading over to Trinity College, where Louisa’s niece, Siona, who is a student there, had agreed to meet me to take me in to see the Book of Kells. (It’s open to every one, but students don’t have to pay )

As it turned out, the Book is not on display this month, but there is an interesting exhibition about it (with more fun facts to learn and remember ) and the Long Room , in the library (where the Book is displayed, when it is at home) is well worth visiting in it’s own right. It’s a beautiful room – and in addition to the (facsimile) Book of Kells, was hosting an exhibition entitled ‘The Body in the Library’, about the history of the Murder Mystery, with displays of early editions of lots of classics, together with the odd length of lead piping, revolver, and bottle of poison. . . lots of fun!

We decided to go straight to Chapters from Trinity, on the assumption that the event would be fairly popular, and it might be as well to get there early….

1 comment:

spacedlaw said...

Poppet seems to have as much fun as you did.
Lucky for you to have had a local guide.