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Detailed record for Harley 3954

ff. 1-69v 
Author Sir John Mandeville
Title Travels
 
ff. 70-123v 
Author Anonymous; William Langland (ff. 92-123v)
Title Infancy of Christ (ff. 70-74); Merits of the Mass (ff. 74-76); Virtues of Masses (ff. 76-78); Seven Virtues and Vices (ff. 78v-81); etc., Piers Plowman (ff. 92-123v)
 
Origin England, E. (East Anglia)
Date 2nd quarter of the 15th century
Language English
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 99 coloured drawings illustrating the text, with 38 spaces left for images.
Dimensions in mm 295 x 150 (225 x 95)
Official foliation ff. 124 (f. 124 is a medieval flyleaf; + 2 unfoliated original parchment leaves after f. 88; + 3 paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Inscribed in English, 15th century (f. 89v).
Inscribed in Latin, 15th century (f. 124).
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 Written in a Norfolk dialect.
Combination of the beginning of text B with the end of text A (Doyle, 1986).
Made in a vertical quarto shape, perhaps for travel or for carrying: see Scott 1996.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: [n. pub.], 1808-12), II, no. 3954.

A. I. Doyle, Remarks on surviving manuscripts of Piers Plowman, Medieval English religious and ethical literature: essays in honour of George H. Russell, ed. by Gregory Kratzmann and James Simpson (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1986), pp. 35-48 (pp. 42, 48).

William Langland, Piers Plowman: a parallel-text edition of the A, B, C and Z versions, ed. by A. V. C. Schmidt (London: Longman, 1995).

Kathleen L. Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 6, 2 vols (London: Harvey Miller, 1996), no. 70b.

Alixe Bovey, Monsters and Grotesques in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2002), p. 20-21, pl. 16.

Kathryn A. Smith, Art, Identity and Devotion in Fourteenth-Century England: Three Women and their Books of Hours, (London: British Library, 2003), p. 293 n. 106.

Julia Boffey and A. S. G. Edwards, A New Index of Middle English Verse (London: British Library, 2005), p. 99, no. 1459, 'A' version.

Kathleen Scott, 'Scribal Activity in English Manuscripts c. 1400-c. 1490: A mirror of the craft?', in Pen in Hand: Medieval Scribal Portraits, Colophons and Tools, ed. by Michael Gullick (Walkern, Herts: Red Gull Press, 2006), pp. 115-49 (p. 130, fig. 24, no. 32).


Images

ff. 1-69v
Sir John Mandeville Travels
* * *
 
Coloured drawing

f. 1
Coloured drawing
Mandeville

f. 2
Mandeville
Hungary

f. 2v
Hungary
 
Constantinople

f. 3
Constantinople


f. 3v
Constantinople

f. 6v
Constantinople
 
Dragon

f. 8v
Dragon
Dragon

f. 8v
Dragon
Dragon

f. 8v
Dragon
 
Text

f. 9
Text
Coloured drawing

f. 13v
Coloured drawing
Annunciation to the Shepherds

f. 14
Annunciation to the Shepherds
 
Text page

f. 21v
Text page
Sardenak

f. 24
Sardenak
Land of the Tartars

f. 24v
Land of the Tartars
 
The Ark

f. 29
The Ark
Amazons

f. 30
Amazons
Sciopod

f. 31
Sciopod
 
Inflammation

f. 32
Inflammation
Inflammation

f. 32
Inflammation
King of Ind

f. 35
King of Ind
 
Thomas

f. 36
Thomas
Idol worship

f. 36v
Idol worship
Cannibals

f. 40
Cannibals
 
Cynocephales

f. 40v
Cynocephales
Cynocephales

f. 41
Cynocephales
Monstrous races

f. 42
Monstrous races
 
Pygmies

f. 43
Pygmies
City

f. 44v
City
Palace

f. 46
Palace
 
Tent

f. 50
Tent
Griffins

f. 54v
Griffins
Gerfaunts

f. 61
Gerfaunts
 
Feathered men

f. 64
Feathered men
Death rites

f. 67v
Death rites

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