Walter M. Miller Jr. – A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)

INTRODUCTION:  The title of this post is a bit misleading – what follows is actually an annotated version of Illuminated Manuscripts in Classical and Mediaeval Times (published in 1892), by J. Henry Middleton.  The annotations connect this nonfiction book on the history of illuminated manuscripts to Walter M. Miller Jr.’s post-apocalyptic novel about a brotherhood of monks tasked with preserving the knowledge of a destroyed civilization by copying and memorizing documents and books.  As can be seen in these annotations, very little of A Canticle for Leibowitz is invented “from scratch,” which contributes the eerie plausibility of Miller’s desolate vision of the future.

ANNOTATED DOCUMENT:   MiddletonHenryJ_IlluminatedManuscripts&MillerWalterMJr_ACanticleforLeibowitz


Annotations by:  Rachel Linn

The annotated text is adapted from: 

Works cited & consulted in the annotations:  

  • Miller, Walter M., Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz. HarperCollins, 1959.