'Mixed media': the Abbotsford Book of Deeds

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


On display in a cabinet at Abbotsford is a curious book-object which consists of a substantial collection of medieval charters, many with dependant wax seals attached, which have been been grafted onto the stump of a seventeenth-century printed book. The documents, which were given to Walter Scott by a neighbour, relate to lands in Suffolk and once belonged to Thomas Martin of Palgrave (1697-1771). The printed book is a copy of A Tragi-comicall History of our Times, itself a rarity. This essay explores some of the anomalies of this hybrid object (at once manuscript/print, parchment/paper, document/book, medieval/modern, English/Scottish) and the taxonomic and interpretative difficulties it poses to scholars, curators, and conservators.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe medieval book as object, idea, and symbol
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the 2019 Harlaxton symposium
EditorsJulian Luxford
Place of PublicationDonington
PublisherShaun Tyas
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781907730900
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

Publication series

NameHarlaxton medieval studies


  • Abbotsford
  • Manuscript
  • Printed book
  • Medieval history
  • Charter
  • Walter Scott
  • Thomas Martin


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