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Detailed record for Harley 3426

Author Various authors including Plutarch, translated by Leonardus Brunus Aretinus ,
Title Various works including Plutarch's Lives, Leonardus Brunus Aretinus' Cicero novus, etc. (imperfect)
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 2nd quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Scribe Ser Giovanni di Piero da Stia
Decoration Defaced white vine initial at the beginning of each main section (ff. 1, 2v, 37, 56v, 73, 89v, 90v, 124, 134v, 135, 157, 157v, 166, 167).
Dimensions in mm 315 x 215 (220 x 125)
Official foliation ff. 177 (+ 5 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 4 at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 10.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Remains of the previous binding (gold- and blind-tooled dark brown sprinkled leather) pasted on the inside covers and on f. [ii].
Provenance Humphrey (b. 1390, d. 1447), prince, soldier, and literary patron, duke of Gloucester from 1414: identifiable as the manuscript given to the University of Oxford by Duke Humfrey of Gloucester in February 1443/4 (no. 97; secundo folio evidence), contains his erased ownership inscription (f. 177) and notes in his hand and in the hand of his secretary Antonio Beccaria (see Duke Humfrey's Library 1988).
Inscribed with the price 'xij d' (f. 1).
John Blaxton, at Peckwater Inn at Oxford in 1532 and Oxford University registrar in 1534): inscribed '?Sir Johannis Blaxtoni liber' and in the lower margin, 'J B' on either side of a love knot with a Greek inscription (f. 1).
Robert Burscough (b. 1651, d. 1709), prebendary of Exeter 1701, Archdeacon of Barnstaple 1703: sold 17 May 1715 (Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘17 die Maij, 1715’ (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes For a more detailed list of contents, see Catalogue 1808.
List of contents (f. 177v).
Two fragments from the Life of Sertorius found by M. R. James in the binding of printed book n. 135 in cathedral library at Bury St. Edmunds written by Giovanni di Stia certainly come from this manuscript (see Duke Humfrey's Library 1988).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3426.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 11 n. 6.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 74, 87-88.

Edmund Fryde, 'The beginnings of Italian humanist historiography: the 'New Cicero' of Leonardo Bruni', The English Historical Review 376 (1980), 533-52 (p. 536 n. 1, passim).

A. C. de la Mare, ‘Duke Humfrey’s English Palladius (MS. Duke Humfrey d. 2)’, Bodleian Library Record, 12 (1985), 39-51 (p. 48, n. 2).

Albinia de la Mare, 'New Research on Humanistic Scribes in Florence', in Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1440-1525: un primo censimento, ed. by Annarosa Garzelli, 2 vols, ([Florence]: Giunta regionale toscana, 1985), I, pp. 395-574 (p. 499).

A. de la Mare and S. Gillam, Duke Humfrey's Library and the Divinity School 1488-1988 (Oxford: Bodleian Library, 1988), no. 37.

Paul Oskar Kristeller, Iter Italicum: Accedunt Alia Itinera: A Finding List of Uncatalogued or Incompletely Catalogued Humanistic Manuscripts of the Renaissance in Italian and other Libraries 7 vols (London: Warburg Institute; Leiden: Brill, 1963-1997), IV (1989), p. 170.

David Rundle, Of Republics and Tyrants : Aspects of Quattrocento Humanist Writings and their Reception in England, c.1400-c.1460 (Oxford: University Press, 1997), pp. 415-20.

A. C. de la Mare, ‘M. R. James and a Fragment of Plutarch’s Lives’, The Legacy of M. R. James [Papers from the 1995 Cambridge Symposium], ed. by Lynda Dennison (Donnington: Shaun Tyas, 2001), 65-76.

Nigel Mortimer, John Lydgate's Fall of Princes: Narrative Tragedy in its Literary and Political Contexts (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2005), p. 82 n. 127.

The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English literature, ed. by Rita Copeland. 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012- ), I, 800-1558 (2016), p. 508.


Images
* * *
 
Defaced initial

f. 1
Defaced initial
Humanistic script

f. 75v
Humanistic script
Humanistic script

f. 90v
Humanistic script
 
Humanistic script

f. 93
Humanistic script
Defaced white vine initial

f. 98v
Defaced white vine initial
Humanistic script

f. 99
Humanistic script
 
Detail

f. 102
Detail
Humanistic script

f. 102
Humanistic script
Humanistic script

f. 117v
Humanistic script
 
Humanistic script

f. 176v
Humanistic script
UV image

f. 177
UV image
List of contents

f. 177v
List of contents
 

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