2004
Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0929-8592
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1689

Abstract

Abstract

In the second half of the fifteenth century the canonesses regular of the Brussels convent of Jericho produced dozens of manuscripts, both for their own community and, for payment, for wealthy lay people and religious institutions outside the convent walls. The accounts of the prioresses of Jericho, which contain a wealth of detailed information on manuscript production in the monastery, reveal that the lion’s share of the production process took place within the convent walls and was executed by the women: they prepared, wrote, and illuminated the quires. However, as they followed strict enclosure, the canonesses were dependent on others – mostly men – for the purchase of the raw materials they needed for their writing activities, for the binding of the books, as well as for the distribution of manuscripts to their buyers or commissioners. This article discusses the role that family members and servants, and especially the priests who governed the convent, played in the process of female monastic book production, and how they formed the necessary bridge between the convent and the world beyond the walls.

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