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Penwork Decoration, In John Lydgate's 'Troy Book' And 'Siege Of Thebes', And Other Poems

Penwork Decoration, In John Lydgate's 'Troy Book' And 'Siege Of Thebes', And Other Poems

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1520

Shelfmark: Royal MS 18 D.ii

Item number: f.1v

Length: 39.5

Width: 26.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

John Lydgate (c.1370-c.1450) was probably born at Lidgate in Suffolk; he became a monk of Bury St. Edmunds aged 15, a priest in 1397, and during a long life was a remarkably prolific writer of English verse. This manuscript was written and illuminated in two stages: heraldic evidence suggests that it was begun around 1460, but many of the spaces left for miniatures were left blank. About 60 years later, c.1520, the blank spaces were filled, and further Lydgate texts were added at the beginning and end. This elaborate initial 'T' marks the start of the first poem, introduced by the rubric: 'Here begynnethe the Testamente of John Lydgate, monke of Berry, whiche he made hymselfe . . .'. The text itself begins 'The yeres passede of my tender youthe . . .'

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