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Ruth Hibbard

Author: Ruth Hibbard (Curator (Loans) - Word & Image Department)
Mother’s day is this weekend; a time for family gatherings, and maybe for sharing old favourite stories that have been passed down between generations. It brings to mind a book of old spooky stories we have in the National Art library that was put together by a mother and her son.‘Legendes Rustique’ was written by George Sand (pen name for Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin 1804-1876...
Pearl: an English poem of the fourteenth century reset in modern English, by Israel Gollancz. London, Dolphin Press, 1918. © Victoria & Albert Museum
Author: Ruth Hibbard (Curator (Loans) - Word & Image Department)
In my previous posts I looked at how the medieval poem ‘Pearl’ was understood by the medieval mind and also how it was rediscovered and represented in the 19th century. In the early 20th century it showed itself again to be an enduring image of loss and consolation.Pearl was published again in 1918 in response to the horrors of the First World War. It was again edited by Isreal...
Author: Ruth Hibbard (Curator (Loans) - Word & Image Department)
In my first blog I looked at what a contemporaneous audience would understand in the medieval poem Pearl. Despite its beauty and intricacy the poem did not enjoy the fame of those written by contemporaries such as Chaucer. The poem was not published or widely available until in 1864 when it was the first work published by the Early English Text Society, a group set up to make medieval literature...
Painting of the Virgin Mary with Christ child sitting on a parapet, by Carlo Crivelli, ca. 1480. Museum No. 492-1882. © Victoria & Albert Museum
Author: Ruth Hibbard (Curator (Loans) - Word & Image Department)
When I heard that the V&A was putting on an exhibition about pearls, I could not help but think of the beautiful 14th century poem known as Pearl. In the poem a man pines for a lost pearl. He falls asleep and has a dream vision, a common occurrence in medieval poetry. He sees a girl richly dressed in pearl-encrusted clothes and crown. We realise that the pearl he was mourning is not a jewel...