John Leland: The man who saved medieval knowledge

John Leland toured England and Wales in the 1530s, recording the holdings of monastic libraries just before the Dissolution. James Carley, Leland's most recent editor, reveals what he saw in the lost libraries

This engraving by Charles Grignion (1717–1810) is taken from a lost bust of John Leland at All Souls College, Oxford. Leland's bibliography of British writers is a unique record of the country's medieval literature before it was decimated by Henry VIII's agents. (Universal History Archive/Getty Images)

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