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Detailed record for Additional 38663

Title Chanson de Guillaume
Origin France or England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century
Language French (Anglo-Norman)
Script Gothic, written above the top line
Scribe The same scribe as Add MS 38662 and Add MS 40142
Decoration One large puzzle initial in red, white and blue, with decoration in green and yellow (f. 1); numerous initials in blue with pen-flourishing in red, or in red with pen-flourishing in green.
Dimensions in mm 225 x 155 (170 x 130/35) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 25 (ff. 25 (+ 2 unfoliated modern parchment flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end. ff. i-iii are paste-downs inside the upper binding; f. iv is a parchment flyleaf).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post 1600. Brown calf-leather. Inscription on inside covers: 'Bound by F. Bedford': Francis Bedford (b. 1800, d. 1884) (see C. Ramsden, London Bookbinders, (Batsford: [n. pub.], 1956), p. 36)
Provenance Bound before the mid-15th century as the 4th of ?8 Anglo-Norman romances in the 'Edwardes Manuscript' (see Herbert 'Adgar's Mary-legends' (1906) and Wathelet-William Recherches sur la Chanson de Guillaume (1969)): pencilled modern number '4', (f. 1).
Sir Henry Hope Edwardes (b. 1829, d. 1900), Baronet and book collector of Wootton, Derbyshire : his bookplate and coat of arms on the inside cover and his sale, Christie's, 20 May, 1901, lot 566 (other parts sold as lots 99, 404, 565 and 598).
George Dunn (b. 1856, d. 1912), bibliophile and paleographer of Woolley Hall, Berkshire: his bookplate on the inside cover; his sale: Sotheby's, London 13 February, 1913, lot 436, bought by the British Museum.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at
This is the only surviving copy of the text and is in Anglo-Norman French.
The present manuscript was probably the fourth article in a volume of heroic and pious tales in Anglo-Norman French, known as the Edwardes manuscript, as follows:
1. unknown;
2. Treatise on the commandments (Princeton manuscript);
3. Gui de Warewic (now Additional 38662);
4. Chanson de Williame (the present manuscript);
5. Pseudo-Turpin (Additional 40142);
6. Life of St Margaret (now Additional 38664)
7. Adgar's miracles of the Virgin (now Additional 38664)
8. Life of St Catherine (now Additional 40143, ff. 1-6)
Select bibliography J.A. Herbert, 'An Early MS of Gui de Warwick', Romania, 35 (1906), 68-81.

Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1911-1915 (London: British Museum, 1969), pp. 190-91.

Duncan Mc Millan, La Chanson de Guillaume, 2 vols (Paris: SATF, 1949).

Jean Wathelet-William, Recherches sur la Chanson de Guillaume, accompagnées d'une édition, 2 vols (Paris: Université de Liège, 1975).

Ruth Dean and Maureen Bolton, Anglo-Norman Literature, A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts (London: Anglo-Norman Text Society, 1999), no. 82.

La Chanson de Guillaume, ed. and translated by Philip E. Bennett from this manuscript (London: Grant and Cutler, 2000).

Maria Careri, 'Membra disiecta. I mss. di Londra, BL, Add. 38662 (Gui de Warewic), 38663 (Chanson de Guillaume) e 50142 (sic) (Pseudo-Turpin)', Cultura neolatina, 62 (2002), pp. 211-28.

Hannah Weaver, ' A Tool for Exemplary Pastoral Care: Three Booklets of the Edwardes Manuscript in Context', Manuscript Studies: A Journal of the Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, 2.2, (2017), 296-327.

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Puzzle initial

f. 1
Puzzle initial

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