Or and Argent
A supposedly immutable rule of heraldry is that gold (Or) and silver (Argent) should never be placed side-by-side or one upon the other. Heim, the Papal Nuncio who designed four popes’ coats of arms, investigates when and where this rule originated and how it has been observed in different countries. But he also shows how often the rule is broken, identifying more than 360 such coats of arms from across Europe, including his own.
The Georgian Art of Gambling: Being A Miscellaneous
Collection of Fashionable Card Games and Diverse Pastimes
Claire Cock-Starkey's miscellany of Georgian pastimes – and addictions – covers everything from cards in the drawing room to wagers on cock-fighting and the ruination of gambling-addicted aristocrats.
The Punch Brotherhood
Table Talk and Print Culture in Mid-Victorian London
Based on research among unpublished letters, diaries, minute books and business records, this study of Punch takes the reader inside the most successful and influential of comic magazines and brings to life the table-talk, jokes and gossip of its close-knit community of writers, artists and proprietors. Leary emphasizes the role of this talk in the understanding of 19th century print culture, shedding new light on the careers of Dickens, Thackeray and many other writers and journalists.
Medieval & Renaissance Interiors
In Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts are an invaluable resource for understanding medieval and early modern life in castles, palaces and ordinary households, both urban and rural. Reproducing 140 little-known illuminations, mostly from the British Library’s collections, this book shows how these miniatures reflect medieval domestic interiors and how they provide information on topics ranging from the security of dwelling places to creature comforts such as heating and lighting, hygiene, beds and bedrooms, and the display of wealth and treasured possessions.
The Curious Map Book
The creation of maps is often a serious business in which accuracy takes precedence over the imagination. Drawing on the British Library collection, this delightful book presents 100 unusual maps in which the equation is reversed and fantasy comes to the fore. Here are nations portrayed as humans or animals – the British bulldog, the ‘Lion of the Low Countries’, the Russian bear; satires on contemporary politics; fictional countries; and maps as board games or jigsaw puzzles.
British Town Maps
The complexity of towns has stretched cartographers' ingenuity throughout history. After discussing the particular challenges of making town maps, including purpose, scale and printing, this richly illustrated volume, the printed companion to the online Catalogue of British Town Maps, surveys the history of urban mappings from the late Middle Ages to around 1900, then looks in turn at the specific uses of town maps, from depicting property ownership to fire insurance and town planning.
Lives in Letters
In chapters devoted to each monarch – Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I – this is a narrative account of the Tudor period, told through 42 letters and documents in the British Library’s collections. From Henry VII and Elizabeth of York’s autograph inscriptions in a prayer book, to a letter from Elizabeth I to James VI of Scotland in 1603, each item is illustrated in colour, fully transcribed and accompanied by a commentary setting it in historical context.