The Herald

University buys rare prayer book


A RARE 15th-century prayer book, often dubbed the bestseller of the Middle Ages, has been acquired by a university.

The University of St Andrews said the text, known as a Book of Hours, will be a “very valuable addition” to its cultural resources.

The book was owned by a wealthy member of French nobility and is full of hand-painted illuminati­ons in gilt and colours which still sparkle with vibrancy.

A Book of Hours is a religious manuscript containing a calendar with the feast days of various saints, extracts from the Gospels and prayers – including those undertaken by profession­al religious men and women at particular times throughout the day, such as matins in the morning and vespers in the evening.

Believed to date from around 1470 to 1500, the French text appears to have never been owned by a Scot.

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