Bagpiping – Always in the margins?


Many(1) people know the Luttrell Psalter bagpiper(2) . He tends to be reproduced on mediaeval greeting cards and T shirts, and to be invoked when anyone says “Oh, not just Scottish, then?”. His depiction is quite detailed, his pipes convincing (even if his hands are, from modern perspective, the wrong way round), and his manner a little shifty. Similar figures appear in the margins of other mediaeval manuscripts, often contrasting with the solemn sacred texts on the pages, often weird or grotesque, and frequently rude or overtly sexual.

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