English Medieval Graffiti
Graffiti (’drawings or writings scratched on a wall or other surface’) are to be found incised on the walls and pillars of innumerable cathedrals and churches in Great Britain. Most were done between the twelfth and early fifteenth centuries; many are valuable as examples of medieval art; and some are important for their preservation of particular styles of epigraphy. In this work, Mrs Pritchard has studied the inscriptions and drawings in a large number of churches, mostly within a radius of sixty miles of Cambridge. These graffiti are far from mere scratchings performed by unskilled hands; they are highly imaginative, boldly executed drawings, combining freedom of line with occasional fussiness of detail, and inscriptions whose clarity and precision of lettering equal in execution the contemporary manuscript. Many were subsequently covered by medieval wall paintings; others have been partly defaced by cleaning and restoration of the original stone. Mrs Pritchard illuminates a neglected corner of medieval art; and her skilful rubbings (over two hundred of them illustrate this book) preserve these curious relics of medieval artistry against the erosion of time and restoration.