Skip main navigation

Changing meanings

Changing meanings

This week we will be looking at the more recent history of the Book of Kells.

For much of its early life in Trinity College the Book of Kells was only visited by a small elite who had a particular interest in biblical studies. But that was all to change in the mid-nineteenth century, when it began to be made available for the wider public to view.

Growth in nationalist sentiment, coupled with the fashion for revivalist jewellery and luxury items saw the reproduction of motifs from the manuscript on a range of goods, and so its fame began to spread worldwide. Its almost ‘magical’ appearance also proved a muse to artists and writers alike and over the past couple of centuries it has provided inspiration for a very wide range of art and literature.

Don’t forget to consult the glossary which explains some of the key terms used in the course.

This article is from the free online

The Book of Kells: Exploring an Irish Medieval Masterpiece

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now