Theory: Node

Queen Victoriaís contribution to the Book of Kells is well known. Visiting Ireland in August 1849, she and prince Albert were permitted to sign it, or so they believed. What they signed were modern flyleaves which were removed from the manuscript in 1953. Victoria was neither the first nor the last to succumb to the urge to fill its blank spaces. In the fifteenth century, a poem complaining bitterly about taxation on church land was written on the blank folio 289v. At the foot of the same page, Richard White, the rector of a small parish close to Kells, added some anodyne historical notes in the seventeenth century, on folio 31v. The monogram of John Obadiah Westwood, the author of the earliest modern account of Kells, appears with the date 1853 on folio 339r. (Meehan 92)