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Erik Kwakkel: the 'Sherlock Holmes' of medieval manuscripts

What can a doodle tell us about the person who drew it? Erik Kwakkel is a Dutch book historian at Leiden University who searches for the secret meanings of doodles and scribbles in medieval manuscripts. He talks to BBC World Service about his passion for books.

As the son of a librarian, Erik Kwakkel became fascinated with books at an early age. Every Wednesday afternoon he would spend in the library. To BBC World Service, Kwakkel explains how his passion for books developed and eventually led to his current position as the 'Sherlock Holmes of manuscripts'. 

In the interview, Kwakkel talks about how medieval doodles and centuries-old shopping lists were found in the recycled covers of manuscripts and the Old Dutch poem an English monk wrote down to test his pen.  

Listen to the full interview on BBC World Service.


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