British Library, Royal MS 13 B VIII
(Topographia Hibernica/Expugnatio Hibernica/Itinerarium Kambriae)


Produced: England (Lincoln?), c. 1196-1223
Location: British Library, London, England, UK
Type: Travel Narrative
Language: Latin
Folios: 147
Author: Giraldus Cambrensis
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Script: Gothic
Dimensions: Height: 27.5 cm Width: 19 cm
Folio 1r


Probably made at Lincoln under Giraldus Cambrensis' supervision. Owned by St Augustine's, Canterbury (ex libris second half of 14th century, f.147). Old Royal pressmark no. 1116 (f.1) and in Royal catalogue of 1666 (f.21). Transferred as part of the Royal Library to the British Museum by George II in 1757. This volume contains marginal illustrations to the "Topographia Hibernica" which are of great importance to the early history of authorial illustration. Gerald (died 1223) composed the Topography of Ireland in between 1186 and 1188, after his travels in Ireland in 1183 and with Prince John in 1185. He produced a second edition before Henry II's death in 1189, followed by a third, fourth and various 'late' editions before his death in 1223. - [British Library catalog]

Decoration: 45 marginal miniatures in colours and tinted drawing of animals, habits of people, and wonders of Ireland.

Three of Gerald's works are included:

  • Topographia Hiberniae (Topography of Ireland) (ff. 1r-34v)
  • Expugnatio Hibernica (ff. 34v-74r)
  • Itinerarium Kambriae (ff. 74v-100v)

The Topographia Hiberniae has references to animals, some mythical.

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