96 pages, 75 colour illustrations
Images of cats appear extensively in medieval manuscripts. They are depicted as pets, as mousers, in Bestiaries, in marginalia and in other surprising images – for example, depictions of cats in religious iconography. This charming gift book presents a wealth of cat imagery from a wide variety of medieval sources and will have a wide appeal for cat lovers everywhere. The text is peppered with fascinating facts about the medieval view of cats and amusing anecdotes about people and their pets in the Middle Ages, for example: Extract from Medieval Cats: 'Cats often had full rein of the dining hall, a situation which books of courtesy despaired of, asking that owners refrain from petting cats sitting on tables. They also invaded bedrooms, for which the Boke of Nurture asked with little success that the owner drive out dogge and catte, or else give them a 'clout".
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Kathleen Meikle Walker completed her PhD at University College London on 'Late Medieval Pet-Keeping: Gender, Status and Emotions'. She is now a research fellow at the University of York, studying animals in the Middle Ages.