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Detailed record for Royal 20 A II

Author Peter of Langtoft and others
Title Drawings with various inscriptions, distichs and poems (ff. 1-9v), verse lament of Edward II (ff. 10 r-v), Chronicle of England (ff. 11-146v) Lancelot du Lac, imperfect (ff. 147-152v), a letter purporting to be from Joanna, Queen of Sicily to Hugh IV King of Cyprus (ff. 152v-154), La Queste del Saint Graal (ff. 155-169v), the latter imperfect at the beginning and at the end
Origin England, N.
Date c. 1307 - c. 1327
Language Latin and French
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Written by more than one scribe (see Notes)
Decoration 19 tinted drawings (some with gold) of the Creation (f. 1), the battle of Troy (f. 1v), Brutus and Innogent (above); Locrin, Kambere, and Albanac (below) (f. 2), the murder of king Constans (above); a group of men (below) (f. 2v), the burning of Vortigern (above); a king, possibly Ambrosius, with courtiers (below) (f. 3), king Uther converses with Merlin (f. 3v), king Arthur (above); the crowns and names of 30 kingdoms (below) (f. 4), Athelstan (Adelstan) kneeling before Guy of Warwick (f. 4v), Edward the Confessor (f. 5), William the Conqueror (above); genealogical table (below) (f. 5v), William Rufus struck by an arrow (f. 6), Henry I (above); the wreck of the White Ship, drowning of Prince William, and genealogical table (below) (f. 6v), Stephen with a hawk (f. 7v), Henry II and Thomas Becket (above); genealogical table (below) (f. 7v), Richard I (f. 8), John with hounds (above); genealogical table (below) (f. 8v), Henry III with façade of Westminster Abbey (above); genealogical table (below) (f. 9), Edward I (above); genealogical table (below) (f. 9v), Edward II (f. 10). Initials in blue with red pen-flourishing or in red with blue pen-flourishing, some large, some small. Capitals marked in red.
Dimensions in mm 230 x 150 (170 x 90)
Official foliation ff. 169 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 5 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1977.
Provenance A poem in French, 'The Lament of Edward II', chronicling his failures as a ruler has been added after his portrait (f. 10r-v).
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): Westminster inventory number 'no. 1046' (f. 1), included in the inventory of books in the Upper Library at Westminster of 1542; in the catalogue of 1666, Royal Appendix 71, f. 14v.
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Peter of Langtoft's Chronicle is prefaced by ten folios (the first quire) of tinted drawings with inscriptions, distichs, or longer poems. The final set of drawings portray kings of England up to Edward II, who is referred to as a prince in the Latin inscription.
ff. 152v-154v: Copy of a letter purporting to be from Joanna, Queen of Sicily to Hugh IV King of Cyprus, added in a hand of the 2nd half of the 14th century and containing no decorative features.
ff. 155-169v: La Queste del Saint Graal, imperfect at the beginning and at the end, also added in the 14th century and containing no significant decorative features.
Cotton Julius A V contains parts of the Chronicle and Prose Lancelot from this manuscript.
Select bibliography Joseph Strutt, A Complete View of the Dress and Habits of the People of England from the Establishment of the Saxons in Britain to the Present Time, 2 vols (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1842), II, pl. 82.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), II, p. 350.

Roger Sherman Loomis and Laura Hibbard Loomis, Arthurian Legends in Medieval Art (New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1938), fig. 385.

T. M. Smallwood, 'The Lament of Edward II', The Modern Language Review, 68 (1973), pp. 521-29 (as 'R').

Le Règne d'Edouard Ier: édition critique et commentée, ed. by Jean-Claude Thiolier (Créteil: CELIMA, Université de Paris XII, 1989), as 'C', and pl. at p. 332.

Thea Summerfield, The Matter of the Kings' Lives: The Design of Past and Present in the early fourteenth-century verse chronicles by Pierre de Langtoft and Robert Mannyng (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1998), p. 217.

Ruth Dean and Maureen Bolton, Anglo-Norman Literature, A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), no. 66, 87,168.

The Libraries of King Henry VIII, ed. by J. P. Carley, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 7 (London: The British Library, 2000), H2.1046.

Pamela Porter, Medieval Warfare in Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2000), p. 21.

Claire Valente, 'The "Lament of Edward II": Religious Lyric, Political Propaganda', Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 77 (2002), 422-39 (as 'R').

Roger Middleton, 'Manuscripts of the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in England and Wales: Some Books and their Owners' in A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, ed. by Carol Dover (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2003), pp. 219-35 (pp. 223, 234).

Alison Stones, 'The Egerton Brut and its Illustrations', in Maistre Wace: A Celebration, ed. by Glyn S. Burgess and Judith Weiss (St Helier, Jersey: Société jersiase, 2006), pp. 167-76 (pp. 168, 172, figs. 6, 20).

Roger Middleton, 'The Manuscripts' in The Arthur of the French, ed. by Glyn S. Burgess and Karen Pratt , Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, 4 vols (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2006), IV, pp. 8-92 (pp. 46, 55).

Alison Stones, 'Some Secular Illustrated manuscripts in Cambridge Collections', in The Cambridge Illuminations: The Conference Papers, ed. by Stella Panayotova (London: Harvey Miller, 2007), pp. 139-50 (p. 141).

Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London: British Library, 2011), no. 116 [exhibition catalogue].
Last revised: 18 September 2009


Images
* * *
 
Death of Vortigern

f. 3
Death of Vortigern
Merlin

f. 3v
Merlin
King Arthur

f. 4
King Arthur
 
Edward the Confessor

f. 5
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor

f. 5
Edward the Confessor
William I

f. 5v
William I
 
Rufus

f. 6
Rufus
Henry I

f. 6v
Henry I
Stephen enthroned

f. 7
Stephen enthroned
 
Stephen enthroned

f. 7
Stephen enthroned
Henry II

f. 7v
Henry II
Richard I

f. 8
Richard I
 
Richard I

f. 8
Richard I
John

f. 8v
John
John

f. 8v
John
 
Henry III

f. 9
Henry III
Edward II

f. 10
Edward II
Edward II

f. 10
Edward II
 

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