book project

Interpreting the Annunciation: The Virgin Mary’s Book in Medieval England”

To the modern viewer, Mary’s book at the Annunciation seems so familiar: it is a commonplace in the hundreds of late medieval and Renaissance Annunciation paintings which cover the walls of our museums. But to the early medieval Christian, this was a new innovation which transformed the Annunciation scene into an accessible example of text-based spiritual devotion and prayer to God. This project examines the development of the motif of Mary’s book in the literature and art of medieval England, and how the Annunciation scene offered a vital model of reading, devotion, and vision remarkably adaptable to a plurality of audiences including both enclosed women and lay readers.


My dissertation advisors at Yale were Professor Alastair Minnis and Professor Jessica Brantley.

Would you like to find out more about this project? Email me at laura dot miles at gmail dot com.


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