Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The $14,000,000 Manuscript

What sort of manuscript is worth $14,000,000? Apparently, a manuscript like the St. Cuthbert Gospel -- a Latin copy of the Gospel of John, made in the very late 600's (the tendency is to suspect that the MS was made to accompany St. Cuthbert's remains when his remains were transferred to Lindisfarne in 698).

What makes the St. Cuthbert Gospel (also known as the Stonyhurst Gospel, because it was previously housed at Stonyhurst College) valuable to book-value-assessors is... not its text; priceless though the message of the Gospel of John is. It is cherished as being arguably the oldest European-made book in very good condition.

A detailed profile of the St. Cuthbert Gospel's appearance, contents, and history, along with access to digital images of every page, can be found at
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=add_ms_89000 . The British Library purchased it from its previous owners in 2011 for nine million pounds.

Additional information about the St. Cuthbert Gospel can be found in an essay by Dr. Claire Breay at http://www.bl.uk/whatson/st_cuthbert_gospel.pdf . Dr. Breay is featured in the video about the St. Cuthbert Gospel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jGJPEXoEX8 .

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