Geoffrey Chaucer, Troilus and Criseyde
Chaucer's Troilus and
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.
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 II, spaces for 36 pictures
Liber III, spaces for 13 pictures
“Ihesu mercy lady helpe me
Dorote Pennell (or -tt)”
Liber IV, spaces for 8 or 9 pictures
On f. 108r is pencilled
Liber V, spaces for 14 pictures
On f. 147r is scribbled (xv):
( = 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. / geven to me by Mr Carr the
xvij of Decembre ano 1570”
A receipt in English