And the rest of the week’s best writing on books and related subjects.
Welcome to Vox’s weekly book link roundup, a curated selection of the internet’s best writing on books and related subjects. This week’s links will have to be enough to hold you for a bit, as next week I will be on vacation, lounging on a beach, possibly reading a book for non-work purposes if I feel like getting really wild. In the meantime, here’s the best the web has to offer for the week of March 3, 2019.
In Ireland, researchers have discovered a 15th-century Irish translation of an 11th-century Persian medical encyclopedia. Atlas Obscura explains why that’s so exciting:
While many references to Ibn Sina and his work pop up in old Irish medical texts, this is the only known evidence of a full translation of his encyclopedia. He originally wrote in Arabic, and the Irish rendition is likely translated from a 13th-century Latin version by the prolific Gerard of Cremona. “This is one of the most influential medical books ever written,” says Nic Dhonnchadha. “So the fact that it was being studied in Ireland in the 15th century was certainly a link to the Islamic world.”
Speaking of medieval manuscripts, the Book of Kells has been digitized, so you can now look at it online. And also of treasures recently unearthed: a bitchy literary burn book featuring the unvarnished opinions of Virginia Woolf, Margaret Kennedy, and others. It was filled out in the 1920s and then sealed up and hidden away, presumably to await the delight of posterity:
I like Robert Lynd’s sly reply to “the most underrated English writer living or dead”: “Shakespeare”.