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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Royal 20 B VIII

Title Lancelot du Lac
Origin England or France
Date 2nd quarter of the 13th century
Language French
Script Gothic, written above the top line
Decoration Puzzle initial 'O' in red and green with pen-flourishing in red in the formula, 'OR dit le contes..' (e.g. f. 760). Numerous small initials in red or green, some with penwork decoration in the other colour, at the beginning of each chapter.
Dimensions in mm 255/60 x 180 (210 x 150/5) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 109 (+ 5 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end: f. 109 is a medieval parchment flyleaf, ff. 1-2 are added parchment leaves from another manuscript)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1970.
Provenance ff. 1 and 2 are added leaves containing part of the Proprium Sanctorum from a 14th-century missal. The end flyleaf (f. 109) contains lines from a breviary in a different 14th-century hand.
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): in the catalogue of 1666 (f. 11v).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Contains Part III of the Prose Lancelot, sometimes known as 'l'Agravain', imperfect at the end.
f. 89 should follow f. 87.
Written in a Western dialect of Old French, perhaps Anglo-Norman (dialect features:e.g., 'ke' for 'que' tonic 'u' for /o/, particularly in ff. 62-78)
Select bibliography H. Omont, 'Les manuscrits français des rois d'Angleterre au château de Richmond', in Etudes romanes dédiés à Gaston Paris (Paris: É. Bouillon, 1891), pp. 1-13 (p. 10).

H. Oskar Sommer, Le Roman de Merlin or the Early History of King Arthur (London: Privately printed, 1894), facing p. xxiv.

H. L. D. Ward and J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, p. 349.

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, pp. 363-64.

A. Micha, 'Les Manuscrits du Lancelot en Prose', Romania, 84 (1963), 28-60 (p. 57).

A. Micha, 'La Tradition Manuscrite du Lancelot en Prose, Romania, 85 (1964), 293-318, 478-517 (pp. 298, 300, 304, 312, 317, 480-83, 509, 516).

Lancelot do Lac, the non-cyclic Old French prose romance, ed. by Elspeth Kennedy, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), I, pp. 1-572 [for an edition of the text], II, pp. 3, 16-18, 20, 25-28.

Peggy McCracken, 'The Old French Vulgate Cycle' in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature, ed. by Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 35-47 [on the text].

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 (p. 223).


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Puzzle initial

f. 76
Puzzle initial

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