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Researchers have discovered doodles in the margins of a medieval religious text


It turns out that people may have been doodling in the margins of their notebooks for more than a thousand years. The Bodleian Library in Oxford used special technology to capture the 3D surface of a medieval religious manuscript created in England, sometime in the first half of the eighth century. In the margins of the texts, they discovered that someone secretly etched the Old English name Eadburg multiple times, along with doodles of human figures. In one drawing, a person stretches out their arms toward another figure, who holds out a hand to stop them. Until now, they were all impossible to read with the naked eye. One theory is that a highly educated woman named Eadburg wanted to add her mark to this revered manuscript. But perhaps - you know, I'm just throwing it out there - sometime in the eighth century, there was a lovesick monk pining away for a crush.

(SOUNDBITE OF THELONIOUS MONK'S "MONK'S DREAM") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Ayesha Rascoe is a White House correspondent for NPR. She is currently covering her third presidential administration. Rascoe's White House coverage has included a number of high profile foreign trips, including President Trump's 2019 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, and President Obama's final NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland in 2016. As a part of the White House team, she's also a regular on the NPR Politics Podcast.
Tilda Wilson