The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History

Journal of the Early Book Society is a journal covering English and continental works produced from 1350 to 1550, including brief notes on manuscripts and early printed books, reviews of recent works in the field, and notes on libraries and collections, published by Pace University in New York, N.Y., for historians, teachers and librarians.

Articles

Vol. 15, Annual

Love Stories on Paper in Middle English Verse Love Epistles
An Odd Couple I begin to unfold this second romance by examining some of the facets of these two letters' peculiarities: first the appearance of their pairing on the pages of Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson Poet. 36 and then their satiric content....
Read preview Overview
A Possible Hebraism in Grisel Y Mirabella and Its Implications: Old Spanish Cultre '(Textual) Amulet'
No scene in Grisel y Mirabella (ca. 1475)--the comic romance in which Juan de Flores defends the status and power of women in Isabelline Spain-- has generated more scholarly debate than the last, in which the queen of Scotland and her ladies avenge...
Read preview Overview
Importing Books to London in the Late Fifteenth and Early Sixteenth Centuries: Evidence from the London Overseas Customs Accounts
This paper expands on research on the importing of books into England in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries by utilizing a valuable but underused resource: the overseas customs accounts. The customs accounts can improve our knowledge...
Read preview Overview
Two Leicestershire Romance Codices: Cambridge, University Library MS Ff.2.38 and Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Ashmole 61
In analyzing the history of Middle English books, it is rare to find extensive connections between surviving manuscripts, and thus, when we alight on such connections, they can be quite telling. For example, scholars have recently drawn attention to...
Read preview Overview
How Francis Thynne Read His Chaucer
The ambitions of Francis Thynne (c.1545-1608), antiquarian and herald, far outstripped his accomplishments. What we know of his personal life, marred by persistent financial problems, an unhappy marriage, and "that cruel tyrant the unmerciful gout,"...
Read preview Overview
Notarial Signs and Scribal Training in the Fifteenth Century: The Case of James Yonge and Thomas Baghill
James Yonge (fl. 1404-38) was an Anglo-Irish author and legal clerk who is best known for his Hiberno-English translation of the pseudo-Aristotelian Secreta secretorum, a mirror for princes which Yonge completed in 1422 under the patronage of James...
Read preview Overview
Longleat House MS 30, T. Werken, and Thomas Betson
Over seventy years ago, H. C. Schultz observed that Huntington Library MS HM 142 (olim "Bement") had a twin "in the library of the Marquis of Bath--Longleat 30. The close relationship between these two manuscripts extends not only to the order of the...
Read preview Overview
Female Readers, Passion Devotion, and the History of MS Royal 17 A. Xxvii
Part III. Reading MS Royal 17 A. xxvii in the King's Library at St. James's Palace If MS Royal 17 A. xxvii, as a book itself, is an object that signals a materialist, female, and affective devotional practice, its material status also marks it as...
Read preview Overview
A Petition Written by Ricardus Franciscus
Kew, The National Archives, C 49/30/19 (hereafter TNA C 49/30/19), a petition seeking the exoneration of the late Duke Humphrey of Gloucester (d. 1447), is distinctive among such supplicatory writing for the unusual extent of its ornamentation. Its...
Read preview Overview
Another Manuscript by the Scribe "Cornhyll"
When we wrote in JEBS 2009 that we would be looking for more examples of manuscripts of major Middle English texts written by the scribe we had identified as "Cornhyll," we hardly expected to find another example so soon as this: New York, Pierpont...
Read preview Overview
Private Reading and the Rolls of the Symbols of the Passion
British Library, Additional MS 22029 is a fifteenth-century parchment roll five inches in width and over four feet in length that contains just one text, a witness of the Symbols of the Passion, a lyric also known by its incipit "O Vernicle" (IMEV...
Read preview Overview
Crossing the Text/image Boundary: The French Adaptations of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili
Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published in 1499 by Aldus Manutius in Venice, is not only one of the most famous illustrated printed books of the Italian Renaissance but also, and more importantly, it is considered one of the basic precursors of the emblematic...
Read preview Overview
Ralph Hanna and Thorlac Turville-Petre, Eds.: The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners and Readers
RALPH HANNA AND THORLAC TURVILLE-PETRE, EDS. The Wollaton Medieval Manuscripts: Texts, Owners and Readers. University ofYork in association with Boydell & Brewer: York Medieval Press, 2010. This large-format volume is a product of the...
Read preview Overview
Lotte Hellinga: William Caxton and Early Printing in England
LOTTE HELLINGA William Caxton and Early Printing in England. London: The British Library, 2010. 212 pp. 116 figures. This new publication by Lotte Hellinga benefits from her outstanding contribution to the publication of BMC XI (reviewed JEBS...
Read preview Overview
George Hardin Brown and Linda Ehrsam Voigts, Eds.: The Study of Medieval Manuscripts of England: Festschrift in Honor of Richard W. Pfaff
GEORGE HARDIN BROWN AND LINDA EHRSAM VOIGTS, EDS. The Study of Medieval Manuscripts of England: Festschrift in Honor of Richard W. Pfaff. Arizona Studies in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance 35. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2010. ix + 438...
Read preview Overview
Christopher De Hamel and Patricia Lovett, Eds.: The Macclesfield Alphabet Book. BL Additional MS 88887. A Facsimile
CHRISTOPHER DE HAMEL AND PATRICIA LOVETT, EDS. The Macclesfield Alphabet Book. BL Additional MS 88887. A Facsimile. London: The British Library, 2010. 32 (with 14 figures) + 46ff. (facsimile) + 4 (unnumbered). This book is a delight and...
Read preview Overview
Ian Gadd, Ed.: The History of the Book in the West: 1455-1700
IAN GADD, ED. The History of the Book in the West: 1455-1700, Volume II. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010. xlii + 526 pp. 36 B&W illus. The title of this volume is something of a misnomer. As series editor Alexis Weedon explains in the preface,...
Read preview Overview
Alexandra Gillespie and Daniel Wakelin, Eds.: The Production of Books in England 1350-1500
ALEXANDRA GILLESPIE AND DANIEL WAKELIN, EDS. The Production of Books in England 1350-1500. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. xix + 375 pp.; 43 figures. This is a very useful and welcome volume which, in a series of chapters by experts...
Read preview Overview
Julian M. Luxford, Ed.: Studies in Carthusian Monasticism in the Late Middle Ages
JULIAN M. LUXFORD, ED. Studies in Carthusian Monasticism in the Late Middle Ages. Medieval Church Studies 14. Turnhout: Brepols, 2008. xvi + 367 pp., 45 Figures, 1 Table. Of all the religious orders, the Carthusians and the Birgittines...
Read preview Overview
Philip Temple: The Charterhouse
PHILIP TEMPLE The Charterhouse, Survey of London Monograph 18. Gen. Ed., Andrew Saint. New Haven and London: Yale University Press for English Heritage, 2010, 317 pp., 158 illustrations. The Charterhouse is a rather luxurious London retirement...
Read preview Overview
John Scattergood: Occasions for Writing: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Politics and Society
JOHN SCATTERGOOD Occasions for Writing: Essays on Medieval and Renaissance Literature, Politics and Society. Four Courts: Dublin, 2010. 272 pp. 14 black & white illustrations. This volume gathers together twelve essays by John Scattergood,...
Read preview Overview
Scot McKendrick, John Lowden and Kathleen Doyle: Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination
SCOT MCKENDRICK, JOHN LOWDEN AND KATHLEEN DOYLE Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination. London: British Library, 2011. 448 pp., 48 figures (pp. 18-93) + unnumbered plates for 154 catalogue entries. This volume has been published...
Read preview Overview
James H. Marrow, Richard A. Linenthal, & William Noel, Ed.: The Medieval Book: Glosses from Friends & Colleagues of Christopher De Hamel
JAMES H. MARROW, RICHARD A. LINENTHAL, & WILLIAM NOEL, ED. The Medieval Book: Glosses from Friends & Colleagues of Christopher de Hamel Houten: Hes and De Graaf Publishers, 2010. xxxi + 467 pp. This handsome Festschrift for Christopher...
Read preview Overview
Norman H. Reid, Ed., with Marc Boulay, Rachel Hart, Elizabeth Henderson, Moira Mackenzie and Maia Sheridan: Treasures of St Andrews University Library
NORMAN H. REID, ED., WITH MARC BOULAY, RACHEL HART, ELIZABETH HENDERSON, MOIRA MACKENZIE AND MAIA SHERIDAN Treasures of St Andrews University Library (London: Third Millennium Publishing Ltd., 2010). 160 pp.; unnumbered plates for 50 items. This...
Read preview Overview
M. B. Parkes: Pages from the Past: Medieval Writing Skills and Manuscript Books
M. B. PARKES Pages from the Past: Medieval Writing Skills and Manuscript Books Ed. P. R. Robinson and Rivkah ZimFarnham, Surrey, and Burlington, VT: Ashgate Variorum, 2012, xvi + 382 pp. Malcolm Parkes's Scribes, Scripts and Readers, a...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 14, Annual

Compilation and Contemplation: Beholding Thomas Hoccleve's Series in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Selden Supra 53
Thomas Hoccleve's Series is a sophisticated compilation of texts linked by its narrator's account of making the book that preserves them. (1) The narrator's account of literally making his book is so important to the structure of the Series that John...
Read preview Overview
Julian of Norwich in the Fifteenth Century: The Material Record, Maternal Devotion, and London, Westminster Cathedral Treasury MS4
The relationship between reader and book has long shaped Western culture's imagination of what it means to be a "self." In a literate society, how we read--why we read--and what we think we are doing to ourselves in the process informs our notions...
Read preview Overview
Pre-Fifteenth-Century Scribes Copying Middle English in More Than One Manuscript
One of the most impressive (and potentially significant) current manuscript research projects is that devoted to medieval scribes. This is housed at the University of York and headed by Linne R Mooney and Simon Horobin. (1) In the main dedicated to...
Read preview Overview
The Middle English Cooking Recipes in New York Public Library Whitney MS 1
New York Public Library, Whitney MS 1 consists of fifteen vellum leaves and contains a selection of Middle English cooking recipes written down in the first half of the fifteenth century, (1) probably c.1425. The first group of recipes on folios 1...
Read preview Overview
A Record Identifying Thomas Hoccleve's Father
Until now, nothing has been known of the origins of Thomas Hoccleve, poet and clerk of the Office of the Privy Seal from 1387 to 1426. None of his biographers has much to say about his origins, and his most recent biographer, John Burrow, sums up our...
Read preview Overview
Documents and Books: A Case Study of Luket Nantron and Geoffrey Spirleng as Fifteenth-Century Administrators and Textwriters
Upon his return to England in the aftermath of the Hundred Years War, Sir John Fastolf embarked upon a program of property acquisition in East Anglia. Caister Castle, on the coast of Norfolk, was one of the properties he acquired and began to improve...
Read preview Overview
Caxton's Exemplar for the Chronicles of England?
The direct exemplars used by early printers show us much about the printers' working practices--whether and how they "cast off" copy; how they handled space and layout--and about their responses to Middle English literature in the years around 1500--how...
Read preview Overview
Printing for Purgatory: Indulgences and Related Documents in England, 1476 to 1536
As Peter Stallybrass has recently insisted in no uncertain terms, printers do not print books, they print sheets. What happens to those sheets after they have been printed is none of their concern, unless the printer is also the publisher. Books naturally...
Read preview Overview
Writing Fame: Epitaph Transcriptions in Renaissance Chaucer Editions and the Construction of Chaucer's Poetic Reputation
While examining two copies of Stow's 1561 Chaucer edition (1) at the Garrett Library Collection of the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University, I discovered that each of them contained a manuscript transcription of the verses on Chaucer's tomb,...
Read preview Overview
Lord Rivers and Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Bodley 264: A Speculum for the Prince of Wales?
The purpose of this essay is to shed light on the possible use of Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodley 264 in a rather obscure period of its life. A new hypothesis is here proposed: it involves Anthony Woodville, second Earl Rivers (c. 1440 to 1483)...
Read preview Overview
Manuscripts of "A Prince out of the North"
"A Prince [or "A King"] out of the North shall come" is a fifty-line verse prophecy about James I and VI, which survives in seventeen manuscripts. Until recently, it was misunderstood as a medieval work, in part because most manuscripts attribute it...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 13, Annual

The Romanz Psalter in England and Northern France in the Twelfth Century: Production, Mise-En-Page, and Circulation
Prior to the emergence of romance as a genre in the 1160s and 1170s, the translation of the Psalms into romanz was the single most comprehensive vernacular literary impulse in the Anglo-Norman world. (1) As many as five separate, complete romanz translations...
Read preview Overview
What's in a Paraph? A New Methodology and Its Implications for the Auchinleck Manuscript
By the end of the fourteenth century, the process by which multiple craftsmen came together to collaborate on the production of vernacular books had undergone major changes. These changes included an increasing demand for specifically English texts,...
Read preview Overview
The Paper Stocks of the Beryn Scribe
I have previously argued that the physical evidence provided by paper and the principle of symmetry that governs the distribution of watermarks in medieval manuscripts and incunabula allow us to reconstruct seemingly impossible collations. Paper evidence...
Read preview Overview
An Unpublished Lollard Psalms Catena in Huntington Library MS HM 501
Lollard attitudes toward the Old Testament have not received the scholarly attention they deserve. The four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Pauline epistles, and to a lesser extent, the Apocalypse, all figure prominently in the writings of John...
Read preview Overview
Fictions of Patronage: The Romance Heroine as Sponsor in John Metham's Amoryus and Cleopes
Although several early studies of medieval patronage examine the system primarily from a financial standpoint, (1) many of the more recent scholars of medieval female sponsorship, such as June Hall McCash, Joan Ferrante, and Karen Jambeck, understand...
Read preview Overview
The Manuscript Sources of Divina Auxiliante Gratia
Habent sua fata libelli. --Maurus, De litteris, syllabis et metris Traditional textual scholarship regarded manuscript witnesses as degenerate copies of the text the author intended; the critic's task was to eliminate the dross and recover the...
Read preview Overview
Two Recently Discovered Fragments of Nassington and Rolle
In April 1677, the minister Nathaniel Heywood traveled from Lancashire to Yorkshire to visit his brother, Oliver Heywood, a prominent nonconformist minister, and to send his son, also named Nathaniel, to study at Richard Frankland's academy. (1) While...
Read preview Overview
St. Birgitta of Sweden's Revelationes (1492) in York Minster Library
The seven hundred revelations of St. Birgitta of Sweden were first printed in Lubeck in 1492 at the press of Bartholomaeus Ghotan in an edition that was commissioned by the mother-house of the Birgittine order at Vadstena in Sweden. According to the...
Read preview Overview
Cambridge University Library, Additional MS 2604: Repackaging Female Saints' Lives for the Fifteenth-Century English Nun
Of late, scholars interested in East Anglia have focused their attention on devotional practices, and these contributions have enriched our understanding of book production, manuscript circulation, and issues of literacy. (1) Especially useful is the...
Read preview Overview
Richard James and the Seventeenth-Century Provenance of British Library MS Cotton Caligula A.XI
In a recent article published in this journal Lawrence Warner drew attention to four manuscripts of Piers Plowman which appear to have connections with Matthew Parker and his circle. (1) One of these manuscripts, now British Library MS Cotton Caligula...
Read preview Overview
The Transmission of "The Book of Shrift"
"The Book of Shrift," a 4000-line penitential handbook in verse (Index of Middle English Verse 694), forms one of the typical additions to the original text of Cursor Mundi. (1) In the early (s. xiv1) circulation of this massive biblical history, "The...
Read preview Overview
"Documentum Roberti Grosehede": An Unpublished Early Lollard Text
Cambridge, Trinity College, MS O.1.29, but for one of its texts, might be described as an almost boilerplate mid-fifteenth-century religious miscellany. More or less pocket-sized (about 195 mm x 140 mm overall), it provides a succession of standard...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 12, Annual

The Assembly of Ladies: Contextual Meaning in the Manuscripts
The Assembly of Ladies is an anonymous poem in Middle English that exists in three manuscripts dating from the fifteenth century: Cambridge, Trinity College MS R.3.19; Warminster, Longleat MS 258; and London, British Library, Additional MS 34360. (1)...
Read preview Overview
Reading Practices of a Tudor Educator: Nicholas Udall's Annotated Copy of Thomas Linacre's De Emendata Structura Latini Sermonis Libri Sex
One of the few direct sources of information about the implementation of the changing canon of readings and the new methods of note-taking advocated in theoretical treatises by humanists are teachers' and students' notes. These notes, preserved in...
Read preview Overview
A Need for Books: Charles d'Orleans and His Traveling Libraries in England and France
Books do not profit from travel. Even vellum manuscripts with stout wooden boards suffer. Though wooden chests or crates offer some protection, the wear and tear on books transported by ox cart or horse-drawn wagon would be significant. It is therefore...
Read preview Overview
Images on the Move: The Virgin, the Kalendar of Shepherds, and the Transmission of Woodcuts in Tudor England
Sixteenth-century English printing depended heavily upon the recycling and transmitting of woodcuts and other illustrations, a characteristic of the trade which has often been either overlooked or considered an unfortunate and detrimental result of...
Read preview Overview
Design and Authorship in the Book of Margery Kempe
The Book of Margery Kempe has emerged in the past twenty years as the most important literary text by a woman in medieval England. This work, apparently the first autobiography in English and a remarkable documentary source for its place and time,...
Read preview Overview
Joining the Canterbury Tales: The Interactivity of Its Reception and Transmission
The frame narrative of the Canterbury Tales is ostensibly about a pilgrimage, and though one may say that pilgrimages are just as much about the journey as they are about the destination, one cannot help but notice that Chaucer's pilgrims fail to return...
Read preview Overview
The Belvoir Castle (Duke of Rutland) Manuscript of John Lydgate's Fall of Princes
The manuscript of John Lydgate's Fall of Princes belonging to the duke of Rutland rarely comes under scholarly scrutiny, but we were recently allowed to examine and photograph it at Belvoir Castle in Lincolnshire. (1) The manuscript contains 178 parchment...
Read preview Overview
The Production of Oxford, Christ Church MS 152 and the Ploughman's Tale of Marian Devotion
The religiously orthodox tale of Marian devotion attached to Chaucer's Plowman/Ploughman appears in only one manuscript of the Canterbury Tales: Oxford, Christ Church MS 152. The tale has received hardly any critical attention and was never printed...
Read preview Overview
New Light on Piers Plowman's Ownership Ca. 1450-1600
This note offers a new identification of a very prominent fifteenth-century owner of a Piers Plowman manuscript and brings together some disparate materials, to my knowledge unknown to Langland scholars, about the ownership of a few manuscripts and...
Read preview Overview
The Edmund-Fremund Scribe Copying Chaucer
The "Edmund-Fremund scribe" was named by Kathleen Scott in an article describing his copying activities and particularly his specialism in the works of Lydgate. (1) To date all or part of a total of ten manuscripts have been attributed to the hand...
Read preview Overview
Rauner Codex MS 003183: The Beeleigh Abbey Brut at Dartmouth College
Codex MS 003183 in the Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, is a fifteenth-century manuscript of the Middle English prose Brut (MEPB) that was in W. A. Foyle's private manuscript collection, housed at his residence...
Read preview Overview

Vol. 11, Annual

Dating, Placing, and Illumination
Tilly de la Mare, who was a masterfully intuitive paleographer, used to play a parlor game with fellow scholars. She would pass out pictures from Manuscrits dates with the date and place hidden, and each person would have to reason out a dating and...
Read preview Overview
Dating Manuscripts: What Is at Stake in the Steps Usually (but Infrequently) Taken
All scholars who work with manuscripts must confront the question of their dating. But in most cases, this is a preliminary operation that is tackled when the stage is being set. Once dealt with, the problem is forgotten as one gets on with the main...
Read preview Overview
Some Tools for Dating and Localizing Manuscripts
The criteria for dating presented here have been developed progressively in the systematic pan-European effort to identify dated and datable manuscripts, an enterprise that began in the mid-twentieth century. The project, known under the generic name...
Read preview Overview
The Manuscript Titles of Truth: Titology and the Medieval Gap
Geoffrey Chaucer's moral ballade, which begins "Fle fro be pres & dwelle wib sobefastnesse," (1) has been known since the late nineteenth century, from Frederick Furnivall's Chaucer Society reprints onwards, (2) by the title Truth. (3) As the later...
Read preview Overview
Ricardus Franciscus Writes for William Worcester
Cambridge University Library, MS Additional 7870 (hereafter CUL Add. 7870) is a parchment manuscript, comprising three booklets each written by a different scribe, which dates from the mid-fifteenth century. (1) The manuscript contains three texts...
Read preview Overview
Urbane Boys and Obedient Stonemasons: An Adapted Courtesy Poem in British Library Royal MS 17.a.I
British Library Cotton Caligula A.II preserves a short poem on good behavior entitled "Urbanitatis" (fols. 88-89v). (1) This poem is also preserved in National Library Scotland Advocates 19.3.1 (the "Heege manuscript"), where it is given the title...
Read preview Overview
A Note on the Collation of BL MS Add. 37492 (the Fillingham Manuscript)
The most recent edition of a text from the Fillingham manuscript, Richard Firth Green's re-edition of its unique copy of the poem The Eremyte and the Owtelawe, includes a short paragraph on the manuscript. (1) It is described as "an undistinguished...
Read preview Overview
The Speculum Spiritualium from Manuscript to Print
The Speculum spiritualium is a compilation entirely in Latin except for a couple of pages in English from Richard Rolle's Form of Living and two English poems ("Ihesu that art heven kyng" and "Mary thou were greet with loveli cheere"). (1) In print...
Read preview Overview
The Peddler-Robbed-by-Apes Topos: Parchment to Print and Back Again
I In 1491 the Italian illuminator Bernardino di Michelangelo Ciagnoni lamented "that our art is finished, it has been killed by the sort of books which one no longer illuminates," (2) but this prophecy proved too dire by far. That the advent of...
Read preview Overview
The Narrative Functions of John Rastell's Printing: The Pastyme of People and Early Tudor "Genealogical" Issues
The Pastyme of People (ca. 1529-1530, STC 20724) is one of the earliest printed chronicles produced by a humanist printer in early Tudor England. (1) On the surface it is a simple, brief chronicle, but it nevertheless may reveal much about the ideological...
Read preview Overview
Authorship, Patronage, and Literary Gifts: The Books Froissart Brought to England in 1395
I BnF fr. MS 831: Evidence of Its Ownership One of the best-known references to medieval book circulation is Froissart's description in his Chronicles of his presentation of a volume of his poems to Richard II in 1395: et voult veoir le roy...
Read preview Overview
Jolly Jankin Meets Aristotle
It should go without saying that if one is seriously interested in medieval English manuscript culture, one needs to recognize that England was a trilingual state throughout the post-Conquest medieval period. Quite simply, there was a vastly greater...
Read preview Overview
Notes on Libraries and Collections
Toppan Rare Books Library American Heritage Center 2111 Willett Drive University of Wyoming Dept. 3924, 1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071 Telephone: (307) 766-2565 Website: http://ahc.uwyo.edu/about/departments/toppan.htm...
Read preview Overview
Corrigenda for JEBS 10
Hilmo, Maidie. "'The Clerk's Unscholarly Bow': Seeing and Reading Chaucer's Clerk from the Ellesmere MS to Caxton." Journal of the Early Book Society 10 (2007): 71-105. Dates for the Ellesmere MS are incorrectly cited as "c. 1500-1510" in captions...
Read preview Overview