The Book of Kells
This extraordinary manuscript dates to about the year 800 and is almost certain to have been written on the remote Scottish island of Iona. Some say it has the most sublime beauty. Others, such as Umberto Eco, describe it as a ‘product of cold-blooded hallucination’. It doesn’t stand alone because the intricate iconography is found in other manuscripts as well as on Anglo-Saxon preaching crosses. It is a testament to the spirituality, not just of the men who created it, but of the Christianity of that time and place. It is also surprisingly full of mistakes.