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Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Chaucer's Troilus
Codicology:Vellum, 315 x 220 mm(Content authored by Corpus Christi College), (12.5 x 8.7 in.), ff. 151 + 2, five stanzas of 7 lines each to a page. Cent. xv (early), in fine upright hand.
Collation: a2, 18-128 (wants 1) 138-198.
Additions:On flyleaves:
a. “daye of may ffor my solas 1546.”
b. “... uniuersi prop ... t me est gwyn pannarius de.”
c. “Lord god preserve vnder þy mighty handes
Oure kyng oure qwene þeyre pepul and þeyre landes.”
“he that thys Boke rentt or stelle
God send hym sekenysse swart (?) of helle.”
Research:This is one of the best manuscripts of the poem. It is extensively used in Professor Skeat's edition, and described in his Introduction, p. lxix. Professor Skeat points out that at Book IV, st. 83 in the left margin is a note of ownership in a hand of cent. xv “neuer foryeteth: anne neuyll.” This, he says, probably refers to Anne Neville wife of Humphrey Duke of Buckingham who was killed at Northampton in 1460: she was a grand-daughter of John of Gaunt, and “it seems reasonable to infer that the MS. was actually written for one of John of Gaunt's family.” (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Foliation: ff. a-d + i-ii + 1-151 + e-h(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Language: Middle English.(Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde (Content authored by Corpus Christi College)
Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
On f. 1v is a full-page painting of the most beautiful quality. I take it to be in the very best style producible in England at the beginning of the fifteenth century.
There is a solid border of conventional foliage (scarlet, blue, pink) on delicately pricked gold ground, outside this are tendrils, gold besants and coloured leaves.
The ground of the picture is gold, wonderfully patterned.
In the foreground the poet in a wooden pulpit with scarlet cloth before him is addressing a group of seated and standing ladies and gentlemen, including a prince in gold robe and a lady in a diadem. The listeners are intent on the speaker. Behind him on R. the ground slopes up steeply, with trees.
The middle distance is divided off by a ridge of rock sloping up to R. Beyond it in upper R. corner is a gay turreted castle coloured pink. In front of this a group, the foremost figures of which are a crowned queen in blue over white: a noble in scarlet with wreath by her. To them kneels on L. a prince in gold holding a gold cap or crown. He is attended by others. In the distance in L. upper corner is a dark castle on a rock, and some brightly clad small figures are descending the path from it.
The picture has suffered to a slight extent from rubbing, but is a very beautiful thing.
The double sorwe of Troilus to tellen
And how that she forsook hym er she deyde
blank. Doubtless a picture was intended
It is wel wist how that the grekes stronge
A space for a picture is left on every leaf in Book I, making 23
Liber I ends f. 26v
Liber II, spaces for 36 pictures
Liber III, spaces for 13 pictures
On f. 63r is
“Ihesu mercy lady helpe me
Dorote Pennell (or -tt)
Liber IV, spaces for 8 or 9 pictures
On f. 108r is pencilled “Knyvett”
Liber V, spaces for 14 pictures
On f. 147r is scribbled (xv):
“notnarf drawde” ( = Edward Franton)
which also occurs on the flyleaf
ffor loue of mayde and moder thyn benigne. Amen
Explicit liber Troily
(the same scribbled below and erased)
“This is my booke / S. B.1 / geven to me by Mr Carr the xvij of Decembre ano 1570”
A receipt in English
1  ? Stephen Batman