Harley 978, f. 44

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This is the only surviving manuscript to present the twelve lais of Marie de France as a collection assembled by her, with a prologue in which she states her aims and methods as an author. It also contains songs, including the middle English lyric ‘Sumer is icumen in’ with musical notation, medical recipes and assorted poems. Initials are in colours with some pen-flourishing but there are no illustrations. It is thought to have been commissioned for and owned by monks of Reading Abbey in the thirteenth century and was bought from them by a Berkshire clergyman at the dissolution of the monasteries. The Lai de Lanval begins at the bottom of column two with a decorated initial ‘L’.  
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