Bodleian Library publication on Woman's Hour

17 August 2007

St Margaret's Gospel-bookOne of the Bodleian Libraryís recent publications, St Margaretís Gospel Book, will be featured on Radio 4ís Womanís Hour. The programme will include an interview with the author, Dr. Rebecca Rushforth, Research Fellow in medieval manuscripts at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

St Margaretís Gospel-Book: The Favourite Book of an Eleventh-Century Queen of Scots explores a rare beautiful little manuscript purchased by the Bodleian Library for £6 at auction in 1887. It was discovered afterwards to belong to none other than Margaret, Queen of Scotland and was her favourite book, according to her medieval biographer, Turgot. 

The book explains this highly personal manuscript, exploring its making and its meaning for Margaret, looking at how it became associated with her sanctity; and setting this against the background of historical events which made Margaret a significant figure both then and now. 

Although Margaret was revered as a saint, her medieval Latin biographer recounts only a single miracle, an occasion on which this very book fell in a stream but was later found undamaged. A Latin poem added at the beginning of the Bodleian gospel-book describes the same events. It was only after the Library purchased the book that the connection was made by a 22-year-old-scholar, Lucy Hill, making it clear that we have the very book St Margaret owned and diligently studied. 

The programme is on air on Monday, 20 August, at 10 am on Radio 4. You can listen to the programme following the link:

St Margaretís Gospel-Book and all the other Bodleian Library publications can be purchased online at


Back to top