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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Harley 49

Title Roman de Tristan, imperfect at the beginning, with an index (ff. 149-154v)
Origin England
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration Initials in blue with red pen-flourishing, some large, some small. Rubrics in red.
Dimensions in mm 275 x 190 (200 x 130)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 155 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Marbled endpapers.
Provenance Richard III, king of England (b. 1450, d. 1485): inscribed, as duke of Gloucester from 1461 to 1483) 'Iste Liber constat Ricardo Duci Gloucestre' (f. 155).
Elizabeth of York (b. 1466, d. 1503), daughter of Edward IV and Elizabeth Wydville, niece of Richard III, wife of king Henry VII from 1486: inscribed in her hand, 'sans remevyr Elyzabeth' (f. 155).
George Turberville (b. c. 1540, d. c. 1597): poet: inscribed with his name and a distich: 'Turberville a monster is that loveth not his friend / or stoops to foes, or doth forget good turns and so fend' (f. 148v).
Judith Turberville, daughter of George Turberville: inscribed with her name (f. 154v).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton (see Wright 1972).
Sir Simonds D’Ewes (d. 1722), 3rd baronet and grandson of the former: inherited and later sold the D’Ewes library to Robert Harley on 4 October 1705 for £450 (see Watson 1966).
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.
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 One of 13 known surviving books signed by Richard III: see Sutton and Visser-Fuchs 1997 p. 1.
f. 155 is a parchment flyleaf.
f. 1* is a parchment flyleaf, inscribed in a modern hand: 'Historical Romance of the Kings of Ireland'.
The text is a portion of the first part of the Romance, divided into chapters. It begins: 'Sadoc vient cel part et regardoit contrement et contreval et avoit grand mervaile que ceo puet estre' (f. 1).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 49.

Eilert Løseth, Le Tristan et le Palamède des manuscrits français du British Museum: étude critique (Kristiania, 1905), pp. 3-8.

H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I (1883), p. 358.
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. 131, 144, 285, 332.

Le Roman de Tristan: en prose, ed. by Renée L. Curtius, 2 vols (Leiden: Brill, 1976), [as 'H1']

Pamela Tudor-Craig, Richard III (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1977), no. 161 [exhibition catalogue].

Anne F. Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs, Richard III’s Books: Ideals and Reality in the Life and Library of a Medieval Prince (Stroud, Gloucestershire: Sutton, 1997), pp. 220, 290, fig. 70.

* * *
Decorated initials

f. 5v
Decorated initials
Pen-flourished initials

f. 113
Pen-flourished initials
Ownership inscription of Judith Turberville

f. 154v
Ownership inscription of Judith Turberville
Ownership inscriptions by Richard III and Elizabeth of York

f. 155r
Ownership inscriptions by Richard III and Elizabeth of York

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