You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Royal 19 C XIII

Title Lancelot-Grail
Origin England or France, N.
Date 2nd quarter of the 13th century
Language French
Script Gothic, written above the top line
Decoration Historiated initial in colours and gold of episodes from Lancelot's infancy (f. 1). Large puzzle initial with pen-flourishing and with the letters of the first three words of the text arranged vertically in red or blue (f. 167). Puzzle initials in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the formula 'OR dit li contes..' and at other divisions in the text (ff. 28, 81v, 93, 109, 123, 214, 280, 323). Numerous small initials in red or blue with pen-flourishing in the other colour.
Dimensions in mm 295 x 210 (220/5 x 135) in two columns
Official foliation ff. 367 (+ 1 unfoliated parchment flyleaf at the beginning, after f. 166 and f. 322 and at the end + 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1969.
Provenance An additional passage of the text has been inserted in the lower margin (ff. 51v, 52) in an English hand of the early 14th century. Notes in Latin and numerals in the same 14th-century hand, possibly relating to the collation of the manuscript, have been added on the last page (f. 367).
The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): included in the catalogue of 1666 (f. 11v ).
Presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library.
Notes Contains the last four parts of the Lancelot-Grail cycle, somewhat abridged, as follows:
Lancelot du lac, (ff. 1-280) with a division at f. 109 not found in other versions of the text;
La Queste del saint Graal (ff. 280-322);
La Mort le roi Artu (ff. 323-67).
The work is attributed here to Walter Map (f. 323) as is often the case, but he died in 1210 before the cycle was completed (see McCracken 2008).
Written in a Western dialect of Old French, probably Anglo-Norman (has 'k' for 'qu' after f. 323, 'ums' for 1st person pl., use of 'w' ).
Select bibliography 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 and J. A. Herbert, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, pp. 345-47.

George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), II, pp. 338-39.

Le Roman en Prose de Lancelot du Lac: Le conte de la Charrette, ed. by Gweneth Hutchings (Paris: Librairie E. Droz, 1938), pp. xii, xli.

A. Micha, 'Les Manuscrits du Lancelot en Prose', Romania, 84 (1963), 28-60 (pp. 54-56).

A. Micha, 'La Tradition Manuscrite du Lancelot en Prose, Romania, 85 (1964), 293-318, 478-517 (pp. 298, 300, 304,312, 317, 480, 482-83, 509, 516).

Lancelot do Lac, the non-cyclic Old French prose romance, ed. by Elspeth Kennedy, 2 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), I, pp. 1-572 [for an edition of the text], II, pp. 3, 16-18, 20, 25-28.

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. 28).

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, (p. 55).

Peggy McCracken, 'The Old French Vulgate Cycle' in The Cambridge Companion to Medieval French Literature, ed. by Simon Gaunt and Sarah Kay (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), pp. 35-47 [on the text].

* * *
Historiated initial

f. 1
Historiated initial
Historiated initial

f. 1
Historiated initial
Text page

f. 71v
Text page

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back

About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search
Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Accessibility Contact us Main

All text is © British Library Board and is available under a CC-BY Licence except where otherwise stated