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From Rags to Riches, Or How Undergarments Improved Medieval Literacy

“The development of literacy was certainly helped by the introduction of paper, which was made from rags,” says Dr Marco Mostert, a historian at the Centre for Medieval Studies, Utrecht University and one of the organisers of this year’s International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds. “These rags came from discarded clothes, which cost much less than the very expensive parchment which was previously used for books. In the…