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Synopsis

THE success which has attended the publication of this work is, for two reasons, a source of much satisfaction to those responsible for the original issue of the book. In the first place, it amply justifies the belief, entertained by the producers when the work was brought out, that the presentation of a series of the unrivalled illuminated pages of of Kells, in their actual colours, would be regarded as a welcome supplement to such previously published works on the same subject as contained only uncoloured representations; and secondly, it establishes the fact that there are many more persons--outside the world of connoisseurs, archaeologists and palaeographers--who are interested in the Manuscript itself, its history, and its artistic details, than was popularly believed to be the case. Since the date of the first issue, some six years of war and the turmoil that follows war apparently put an end to all serious investigations in the domain of Celtic palaeography. No new light, so far as I am aware, has been thrown during those years on any disputed questions relating to of Kells. Consequently there is little to add, from the studies of Others, to the description of the Manuscript as given in the first edition. The Manuscript itself is, however, so full of information from within, that a slight study of even the reproductions given in this volume enables a careful observer to discover features of interest, previously unnoticed, on almost every page. Amongst such discoveries, made by myself, are a few perhaps worth mention.

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