The Reigne of King Henry the Second: Written in Seauen Bookes

The Reigne of King Henry the Second: Written in Seauen Bookes

The Reigne of King Henry the Second: Written in Seauen Bookes

The Reigne of King Henry the Second: Written in Seauen Bookes

Excerpt

The manuscript of The Reigne of King Henry the Second, British Library Royal Manuscript 18.C.XII, is an exceptionally well prepared and preserved fair copy written in an italic book hand of the seventeenth century. It is bound in vellum, and all edges are gilt. The front cover of the binding bears the gold-tooled initials B.M.; the spine has the following gold-tooled letters and marks between raised bands: THO. MAY./REIGN./OF./HENRY. II.//COD. SEC./XVII/BIBL. REG. MUS. BRIT.//18.C.XII/P. 280./PLUT. XXIII.D. The mark XXIII.D. has later been stamped over to read XII.D. The tooling on the spine indicates that it is a Museum Binding (M.B. = Museum Britannicum) made after 1734, the year in which David Casley’s Catalogue of the Manuscripts of the King’s Library appeared, for the mark “P. 280” refers to the page in that catalogue where the manuscript is listed. “PLUT. XXIII. D.” or “PLUT. XII.D.” are old British Museum pressmarks.

The text of the manuscript is written on paper and contains eighty-six folio leaves, sized 12.5 × 8.5 inches (31.6 × 21.4 cm). The paper is strong

Cf. the description in Julius P. Gilson and George F. Warner, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and Kings Collections in the British Museum (London, 1921), II, 303, which the following description will extend and qualify.

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