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Detailed record for Harley 1121

Author Various authors including Edmund of Abingdon ; Robert Grosseteste
Title Livre de Sydrac (ff. 1-140); Edmund's 'Mireour de seinte eglise' (ff. 141-156); a short text in Latin attributed to Ambrose (f. 156); La vie nostre dame seinte marie' (f. 156); Robert Grosseteste's Commencement du monde (ff. 156-168)
Origin England
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 14th century
Language French and Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Diagram in blue, brown and red ink of the planets (f. 117v). Large puzzle initial in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the same colours forming a three-sided border including foliate motifs and a dragon (f. 1). Historiated initial of a bishop (probably saint Edmund) holding a mirror combined with a partial foliate bar border with a dragon and a dog pursuing a hare (f. 141). Small initial in colours and gold (f. 141). Numerous initials in blue with red pen-flourishing or in red with grey pen-flourishing including foliate motifs, faces, hybrid creatures, fish, etc. (e.g., ff. 2v, 49v, 57v, 99v, 102, 108v, 132, 132v, etc.), or with simpler blue pen-flourishing (from f. 141). Paraphs in red or blue. Line-fillers in red and/or blue, often in the shape of a fish (e.g., ff. 2v, 11).
Dimensions in mm 230 x 150 (185 x 110; 175 x 110 from f. 141), in 2 columns
Official foliation ff. 1*-2* + 168 (+ 6 unfoliated paper flyleaves + 1 unfoliated parchment leaf after f. 1* + 3 unfoliated unwritten parchment leaves after f. 140 + 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf and 4 paper flyleaves at the end)
Collation Mainly in quires of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1965.
Provenance Added symbol (f. [169]).
Added pressmark 'iii+ xviiia', medieval (f. 1).
Added inscription in French, post-medieval (f. 168v).
Numerous erased inscriptions (f. 168).
John Anstis the elder (b. 1669, d. 1744), herald and antiquary, gift to Robert Harley (prior to 1724) together with other manuscripts: inscribed 'Amplissimo et praenobili Viro Roberto Harley. DD. J. Anstis' (f. 2*v).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts.
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes f. 1* is a parchment fragment, probably from a 14th-century charter, written in an English cursive hand. f. 2* is a parchment leaf with later inscriptions.
Beginning with a prologue, an argumentum, and a list of chapters (ff. 1-10v).
Catchwords written horizontally.
The parchment is thick and flawed. Repair in the parchment, made before the text was written (f. 106).
f. 140v is ruled but unwritten.
f. [169] is a former pastedown.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 1121.

Harry Leigh Douglas Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I (1883), p. 912.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 50-52.

Evelyn A. Mackie, 'Editing Le Chateau d'amour', Editing Robert Grosseteste: Papers Given at the 36th Annual Conference on Editorial Problems (Toronto: University Press, 2000), 61-77 ( pp. 67-68).

Lucy Freeman Sandler, The Lichtenthal Psalter and the Manuscript Patronage of the Bohun Family (London: Harvey Miller, 2004), p. 160 n. 107.


Images
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Puzzle initial

f. 1
Puzzle initial
Bishop

f. 141
Bishop
Bishop

f. 141
Bishop
 
Dog chasing a hare

f. 141
Dog chasing a hare

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