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The Wheel Of Fortune, In John Lydgate's 'Troy Book' And 'Siege Of Thebes', And Other Poems

The Wheel Of Fortune, In John Lydgate's 'Troy Book' And 'Siege Of Thebes', And Other Poems

Medium: Ink, pigments and gold on vellum

Date: 1460

Shelfmark: Royal MS 18 D.ii

Item number: f.30v

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. The Wheel of Fortune was a popular motif in medieval art: a female personification of Fortune sits turning the spokes of the wheel, bringing lowly men upward, and elevated men tumbling downward.

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