2020 Book Review: The Book of Kells by Bernard Meehan

The copy of this book that I own is considered ‘the poor man’s version’ of the original that is held in Ireland, I hope to see them one day. For those unaware of what this book is it is a religious text originally in Latin containing the four gospels. My edition has beautiful illustrations, like the original.

I came into owning this book as it was gifted to me, in a big lot of books from a mentor of mine. Many of the books I’ve for the website reviewed came to me in this big lot of gifted books and I’m in the future going to receive more (as I’ve been informed recently). I have only been gifted so many books by my mentor in their words, ‘because of the care I take of my books’. Due to this reason and this book being among the collection I treasure it.

Upon digging into the pages I became aware more so of its importance. Its original creators of The Book of Kells were monks in a town called Kells. They created illustrations to aid in the explanation of many scenes and figures from The Bible. It may not be for everyone due to its subject matter, but for a independent religion student like myself it may provide some valuable information.

Meehan, the author of this edition, provides beautiful explanations on the illustrations and what he believes them to mean. The art is very delicately created and very detailed. He points out interesting metaphors that lie within the imagery. It is said that the art must’ve been created by angels because it is considered so beautiful. The book contains information about the monks that created the illustrations and their lives day to day. I’ve seen documentaries since reading this book that helped me better understand the monk’s lives better, the history better, and what scholars feel about the original book.

Highly recommend for those that are interested in history or Biblical history. Again, this is not the original book of The Book of Kells, but a version that covers the original and helps those interested understand better. I also recommend those interested to do their own research.

This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

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