TREASURES OF THE LIBRARY PODCAST: Dr Margaret Connolly describes the Roll of Kings

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In the summer of 2013, the University Library set out to capture the reactions of academic and library staff when encountering their favourite items from the Special Collections Division. For this project, authors for articles for Treasures of St Andrews University Library (London, 2010) were asked to speak about the item or collection they highlighted in this publication.

In this podcast, Dr Margaret Connolly, of the St Andrews Institute for Medieval Studies, describes the Roll of Kings, a 15th century genealogical roll of the English monarchy, with a brief vernacular chronicle. A gift to the University by an anonymous donor in 2003, this is a good example of this type of royal propaganda, produced during the reign (and probably the minority) of Henry VI. Visually representing the line of royal succession from William the Conqueror to Richard II (the final portion is now missing) through its graphic form, the verse chronicle – amplified by illustration – extols the primacy of the medieval English monarchy in both national and international affairs.

A detail of the Roll of Kings section from the reign of Henry I to Stephen to Henry II. (St Andrews ms38660)

A detail of the Roll of Kings section from the reign of Henry I to Stephen to Henry II. (St Andrews ms38660)

The article written by Dr Connolly about this item is to be found on pp. 38-39 of Treasures of St Andrews University Library (London, 2010). This short video is one of several which have been made based on the book. The entire set, which will be added to periodically, is available on the University of St Andrews Library YouTube channel.

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