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Detailed record for Harley 2392

Author Geoffrey Chaucer
Title Troilus and Criseyde
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial in blue and red with pen-flourishing in the same colours framing the text (f. 1). 7 initials in red or blue with pen-flourishing in the other colour (ff. 20v, 51v, 52v, 84v, 85, 138, 140). A few cadels.
Dimensions in mm 215 x 145 (145 x 80)
Official foliation ff. 145 (+ 3 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves and 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the beginning and at the end)
Collation Mostly in quires of 12.
Form Paper and parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Erased ownership inscription (f. 17v).
Sir Henry Spelman (b. 1563/4, d. 1641), historian and antiquary: inscribed 'Henrici Spelman' (f. 1).
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 The outer and inner bifolia of each quire are of parchment.
Leaf signatures. Catchwords written horizontally.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2392.

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, 73.

James G. Southworth, 'Chaucer: A Plea for a Reliable Text', College English, 26 (1964), 173-79 (pp. 173, 178).

The Book of Troilus and Criseyde, by Geoffrey Chaucer. Edited from all the known manuscripts, ed. by Robert Kilburn Root (Princeton: Princeton University Press, [1967]), pp. lvi-lvii.

S. S. Hussey, 'The Difficult Fifth Book of "Troilus and Criseyde"', The Modern Language Review, 67 (1972), 721-29 (pp. 727, 729).

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 310.

Martha W. Driver, 'Mapping Chaucer: John Speed and the Later Portraits', The Chaucer Review, 36 (2002), 228-49 (p. 230).

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Puzzle initial

f. 1
Puzzle initial

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