Peter of Blois (c.1130-c.1203), had a distinguished academic, ecclesiastical, and political career, becoming archdeacon of London, ambassador to King Henry II, and secretary to his wife, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, the most powerful woman in Europe. The collection of his letters exists in two versions, probably because Peter published a 'first edition' and later revised it: this manuscript contains the 'first edition', but is heavily annotated and corrected to bring it into line with the 'second edition'. In the Middle Ages it was owned by Lesnes Abbey, between Woolwich and Dartford, in south east London. Each of the major sections of the manuscript is marked by an illuminated initial, here the 'D' is inhabited by some sort of bird. In the margin to the left is a faint note 'aur[um]', indicating to the artist that he should use gold. At the bottom edge of the leaf is a twisted blue and white thread place-marker.