Dr Laura Cleaver

Contact details

Name:
Dr Laura Cleaver
Qualifications:
PhD (2008), The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London
Position:
Senior Lecturer in Manuscript Studies
Institute:
Institute of English Studies
Location:
Room 250 Senate House University of London
Email address:
laura.cleaver@sas.ac.uk

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
History of art, History of the book, Manuscript studies, Medieval History
Regions:
England, Europe, North America, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:
I am interested in the art and architecture of the High Middle Ages and its reception in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. My research concentrates on medieval manuscripts, encompassing their production, circulation, and reception. In 2019-2024 I will be leading an ERC funded project (CULTIVATE MSS) to assess the significance of the trade in medieval manuscripts for the development of ideas about the nature and value of European culture in the early twentieth century.
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
26-May-2020 The Place of the Papacy in Four Illuminated Histories from Thirteenth-Century England

Chapters

in Authority and Power in the Medieval Church, c. 1000-c. 1500 ed. T. W. Smith

23-May-2020 Illuminating the Middle Ages: Tributes to Prof. John Lowden from his Students, Friends and Colleagues

Edited Book

Brill (History of the Written Word 79)

01-Apr-2020 The Sauce of the Middle Ages: How Worcestershire sauce changed the way we look at medieval manuscripts.

History Today

25-Jan-2020 Charles William Dyson Perrins as a Collector of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts c. 1900-1920

Articles

Perspectives médiévales [En ligne], 41 | 2020

01-Jun-2019 The Septenarium Pictum or Rota Dominice Orationis Diagram: Combating vice through prayer in the High Middle Ages

Chapters

with Andrea Worm, in Ordinare il mondo: diagrammi e simboli nelle pergamene di Vercelli, ed. T. Leonardi & M. Rainini

27-Jun-2018 Illuminated History Books in the Anglo-Norman World, 1066-1272

Monographs

01-Jun-2018 Writing History in the Anglo-Norman World: Manuscripts, Makers and Readers, c. 1066-1250

Edited Book

01-Jan-2018 The Western Manuscript Collection of Alfred Chester Beatty (c. 1915-1930)

Articles

L. Cleaver, ‘The Western Manuscript Collection of Alfred Chester Beatty (c. 1915-1930)’, Manuscript Studies 2 (2017) pp. 445-82.

01-Jan-2017 The Monastic Library at Le Bec

Chapters

L. Cleaver, ‘The Monastic Library at Le Bec’, A Companion to the Abbey of Le Bec in the Middle Ages, ed. B. Pohl and L. Gathagan (Leiden, 2017) pp. 171-205.

01-Feb-2016 Education in Twelfth-Century Art and Architecture: Images of Learning in Europe c. 1100-1220

Monographs

01-Jan-2016 History Books at Reading in the Twelfth Century

Journal articles

L. Cleaver, ‘History Books at Reading in the Twelfth Century’, Reading Medieval Studies 42 (2016) pp. 25-44

01-Mar-2015 Latin Psalter Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin and the Chester Beatty Library

Monographs

01-Jan-2014 “Almost every miracle is open to carping”: Doubts, Relics, Reliquaries and Images of Saints in the Long 12th Century

Articles

L. Cleaver, ‘“Almost every miracle is open to carping”: Doubts, Relics, Reliquaries and Images of Saints in the Long 12th Century’, Journal of the British Archaeological Association 167 (2014) pp. 51-69.

01-Jan-2013 Past, Present and Future for Thirteenth-Century Wales: Two Diagrams in British Library, Cotton Roll XIV.12

Articles

electronic British Library Journal

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Jan-2020 Charles William Dyson Perrins as a Collector of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts c. 1900-1920

NonPeerReviewed

The manuscript collection of Charles Dyson Perrins is well known among scholars, in large part due to the publication of an imposing and detailed catalogue by George Warner in 1920. Perrins has become associated with spending large sums of money on manuscripts and the account of his purchase of the Gorleston Psalter following a visit to a bookshop in search of something to read on the train is a legend of the trade. The first sale of his manuscripts after his death in 1958 achieved a record total. However, like most early twentieth-century collectors, Perrins’ catalogue only contains a selection of the manuscripts that passed through his hands. Reconstructing the larger collection therefore sheds light on the choices made in creating and publishing parts of his manuscript collection. Perrins began collecting manuscripts as an extension of his interest in early printed books and maintained a strong interest in late medieval and renaissance manuscripts. The influence of a small group of collectors and scholars, and in particular Sydney Cockerell, helped shape Perrins’ manuscript collection and publicise it through its use as the basis for the Burlington Fine Arts Club exhibition of illuminated manuscripts in 1908 and the creation of monographs on particular volumes as well as the 1920 catalogue. In contrast, only part of the printed collection ever received a published catalogue. Cockerell may also have been involved in Perrins’ decision to sell some of his manuscripts, anonymously, in 1907. These decisions have had significant consequences for the long-term ownership of and scholarship on these manuscripts, and provide a case study of the impact of early twentieth-century collectors on the development of the study of medieval books.

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

Details
CULTIVATE MSS

The CULTIVATE MSS project (2019-2024), funded by the European Research Council, aims to analyse the significance of the trade in medieval manuscripts for the development of ideas about the nature and value of European culture between 1900 and 1945. It will assess the roles of collectors, scholars and dealers in the formation of collections of medieval manuscripts, and the impact of this on scholarship, comparing the English-speaking world, France and Germany. Through analysis of published and unpublished accounts of manuscripts, together with price data, it will reconstruct the values projected onto books. It will then contextualise these values within the history of the early twentieth century, assessing the impact of two world wars and other political and economic shifts on the trade in books and attitudes to manuscripts as objects of national significance.

Current PhD topics supervised:

Dates Details
From: 03-Jan-2018
Until:
Moguls Collecting Mughals

Karen Winslow

From: 01-Jan-2020
Until:
The Role of Clubs and Societies in the Formation of Medieval Manuscript Collections, c. 1900-1945

The CULTIVATE MSS project (2019-24) analyses the significance of the trade in medieval manuscripts for the development of ideas about the nature and value of European culture between 1900 and 1945. It examines the roles of collectors, scholars and dealers in the formation of collections of medieval manuscripts, and the impact of these people on the development of scholarship. Within the framework of the overall project, this PhD researcher will study the impact of clubs and societies on the development of collections of medieval manuscripts and the transmission of knowledge about them. Through an analysis of published and unpublished sources the research will address the role of clubs and societies in creating and maintaining social networks, and the impact of these on the acquisition of manuscripts and the creation of scholarship about them. Subjects studied may include, but are not limited to: The Roxburghe Club, The Grolier Club, the Burlington Fine Arts Club, and the Red Cross.

From: 01-Jan-2020
Until:
Women and the Manuscript Trade in Britain and the USA, c. 1900-1945

The CULTIVATE MSS project (2019-24) analyses the significance of the trade in medieval manuscripts for the development of ideas about the nature and value of European culture between 1900 and 1945. It examines the roles of collectors, scholars and dealers in the formation of collections of medieval manuscripts, and the impact of these people on the development of scholarship. Within the framework of the overall project, this PhD researcher will study the roles of women in the book trade in Britain and the USA (as collectors, librarians, and booksellers). Through an analysis of published and unpublished sources, the research will examine the hypothesis that women’s roles in the manuscript trade have been undervalued. It will study well-known and lesser-known women and contrast their activities with those of their male contemporaries. Subjects studied may include, but are not limited to: Belle Greene, Isabella Stewart Gardner, Edith Beatty, Elizabeth Thompson, and the Kingsford sisters.

Available for doctoral supervision: Yes

Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations:

Name Activity
Schoenberg Database of Manuscripts - Advisory Committee Member
Series Editor: Writing History in the Middle Ages, York Medieval Press

Collaborations:

Name Type Activity Start date End date
The Ordered Universe Associate Member 06-Jan-2016
New Interpretations on the Angevin World Associate Member Research Network 01-Jan-2014 31-Dec-2017
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