Secular Miniaturist workshops began springing up in towns from the 12th Century onwards, near the monastic centres that had been illustrating religious texts. Initials became increasingly elaborate, sometimes filling an entire page.
The Song of Queen Guenevere. Illuminated manuscript by Alberto & Francis Sangorski, ca. 1908. This is one of 8 illuminations taken from the historical poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Extracts from Idylls of the Kings" (Tennyson's version of the Arthurian legend).
Book of Kells the famous 9th century illuminated manuscript of the gospels written by monks. It is in the Trinity College Library that was built in 1712. It is one of eight buildings on the 40-acre site that collectively hold over 4 million books - one copy of every Irish or British book published since 1801.