The Peterborough Bestiary...

Click here to receive an illustrated brochure and full details about how to acquire a copy of the facsimile edition of The Peterborough Bestiary.

The finest animal book of the Middle Ages

It is not just that this is probably the most remarkable Bestiary ever, or the finest animal book of the Middle Ages - The Peterborough Bestiary goes further to explain the rich and powerful relationship, and, most importantly, perceptions of man to beast, from those cited from Classical antiquity through the medieval period.

It represents the culmination of over 1,100 years of supposed knowledge across natural science, mythology, philosophy and religion since the first Bestiary or 'Physiologus' (meaning naturalist) thought to have been made in Alexandria around 200 AD.

Gleaning much from this and other earlier works (including the 20-volume Etymologies of St. Isidore of Seville from the 7th Century), it probably provides the best example of a surviving bestiary from the golden age of bestiaries - the early 12th to early 14th centuries.

The true wonder of The Peterborough Bestiary lies in the quality of its images, and its beautifully ornate and rich decoration. There are over 100 detailed miniatures, with a further 108 initials all superbly illustrated. The miniatures are either set on backgrounds of gold in coloured gothic ornamental frames or on colourful diaper patterned grounds framed in gold. They are magnificently intricate, showing a greater three-dimensional depth, greater realism and more natural movement than earlier contributions. This is in keeping with the Gothic style that replaced the dimmer and more figurative Romanesque style characterising earlier bestiaries.

How actual and known animals are perceived, both physically and in relation to both man and God, is as challenging as the portrayal of mythical beasts. Satyrs, Griffons, Unicorns and Dragons all have their place next to beavers biting off their musk glands to highly symbolic and religious images.

This fine facsimile of The Peterborough Bestiary is published in an edition limited to 1480 numbered copies worldwide.

Click here to receive an illustrated brochure and full details about how to acquire a copy of the facsimile edition of The Peterborough Bestiary.

The Peterborough Bestiary Facsimile

The Peterborough Bestiary Facsimile Edition

The Peterborough Bestiary facsimile publication

The Peterborough Bestiary facsimile