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 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
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Detailed record for Lansdowne 757

Title Lancelot du Lac (begins imperfectly)
Origin France, E (?Champagne)
Date 1st half of the 13th century
Language French
Script Gothic, written above the top line
Decoration Small initials in red with blue pen-flourishing or in blue with red pen-flourishing. Small initials in plain red.
Dimensions in mm 225 x 160 (160 x 125) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 166 (+ 4 paper flyleaves at the beginning, and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Black leather with the arms of Lansdowne in gold in the centre of covers; marbled endpapers.
Provenance William Petty (formerly Fitzmaurice) (b. 1737, d. 1805), 2nd earl of Shelbourne and 1st marquess of Lansdowne, prime minister; purchased by the British Museum together with 1244 other Lansdowne manuscripts in 1807.
Notes In the original manuscript, linguistic features (use of `lo`) may support a localisation in the Eastern regions of France (Champagne, Lorraine or Burgundy).
Folios at the beginning (ff. 1-18v) and end (ff. 158-164) and some interpolated leaves (ff. 25, 59, 89-90, 95-96, 151) are in a 14th-century script, with English dialect markers such as 'ceo' and 'pur', suggest that these leaves may have been added in England.
Select bibliography [Henry Ellis and Francis Douce], A Catalogue of the Lansdowne Manuscripts in the British Museum (London, 1819), no. 757.

H. Oskar Sommer, Le Roman de Merlin or the Early History of King Arthur (London: Privately printed, 1894), facing p. xxiv.

H.L.D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum 3 vols (London: Clowes and Sons, 1883-1910), I, 347-48.

Micha, Alexandre, 'Les manuscrits du Lancelot en prose (deuxième article)', Romania, 84 (1963), 28-60 (p. 52).

Elspeth Kennedy, 'Le Lancelot en prose (MS 45)', in Les manuscrits francais de la bibliotheque Parker: Actes du Colloque 24-27 mars 1993, ed. by Nigel Wilkins (Cambridge: Parker Library Publications, 1993), pp. 23-38 (p. 33).

Roger Middleton, 'Manuscripts of the Lancelot-Grail Cycle in England and Wales: Some Books and their Owners' in A Companion to the Lancelot-Grail Cycle, ed. by Carol Dover (Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2003), pp. 219-35 (p. 234).

Roger Middleton, 'The Manuscripts' in The Arthur of the French, ed. by Glyn S. Burgess and Karen Pratt , Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages, 4 vols (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2006), IV, pp. 8-92 (pp. 46, 55).
Last revised: 09 February 2007

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Flourished initial

f. 144
Flourished initial

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