Misericords: Medieval Life in English Woodcarving

M. D. Anderson

Harmondsworth: Penguin Books, 1954

"Services were long and frequent in the Middle Ages, and monks and canons had to stand upright longer than they liked. So, comiserating with them, the carpenters made small seats on the underside of the tip-up seats in chancell stalls on which one could sit, or against which at least one could lean while apparently standing. The function and position being what it was, no strict control seems to have been kept over what the carver wished to represent to decorate these miserere or misericord seats. The author of this book tells illuminatingly and entertainingly of the many types of subjects which appear on these seats, from saints and biblical scenes to the romances of Alexander the Great and tristram and Iseult, and from the records of everyday life: boat building, football, and so on, to birds and beasts and monsters." - cover copy

Includes a discussion of the craftsmen who did the carving, dating of the works, stylistic development and sources.

30 pp. of text, 48 pages of black and white photographic plates.

Language: English

LCCN: 55004523; LC: NA5075.A5; OCLC: 648854


Last update December 6, 2021