The author takes us on a tour of the libraries of the world to visit 12 of the most famous, beautiful and interesting medieval manuscripts. He describes the history, previous owners and adventures of the various volumes but also provides verbal descriptions as well as plenty of pictures, talking about the things that you can see only by looking at the original. He's obviously an expert, with a genuine love for his work that comes over - an enjoyable person to spend time with. It's a hefty volume, but I highly recommend it.
One thing I had no idea of was the connection with 1970s aftershave adverts - if you're as old as me, you'll probably remember this Old Spice ad. :-)
I knew the music was Carmina Burana, but I had no idea it was based on an early 13th century manuscript of the same name - a large collection of songs in Latin and German, that inspired Carl Orff, the composer of the music I knew... Unlike most of the manuscripts, which were copies of existing texts, this was almost certainly the original compilation of the songs, recorded from ones sung across southern Europe for over a century.