Rereading Middle English Romance: Manuscript Layout, Decoration, and the Rhetoric of Composite Structure 9780773565067

Focusing on features of layout and decoration in manuscripts containing Middle English romances, Murray Evans discusses

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Rereading Middle English Romance: Manuscript Layout, Decoration, and the Rhetoric of Composite Structure
 9780773565067

Table of contents :
Contents
Tables
Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Illustrations
1 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration: Touchstones
2 Romance, Nonromance, and Conventions of Manuscript Layout and Decoration: A Survey of Some Collections
3 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I: Sir Isumbras, the '' Isumbras-Group," and Homiletic Romance
4 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II: Sir Degaré, Sir Orfeo, and the Middle English Lay
5 The Rhetoric of Composite Structure, or Rereading Middle English Romance: Conclusions
Appendix: Lists of Data and Contents for Each Manuscript
Notes
Bibliography
Index
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
V
W
Y

Citation preview

Rereading Middle English Romance Manuscript Layout, Decoration, and the Rhetoric of Composite Structure

Focusing on features of layout and decoration in manuscripts containing Middle English romances, Murray Evans discusses how these details signal generic and structural relationships among texts. Using a computer-assisted survey to tabulate and quantify features of decoration and presentation in fifteen manuscript collections, including the "Auchinleck" MS and Cambride University Library MS Ff.2.38, he demonstrates that romances are decorated more generously than other kinds of texts. With reference to features of layout and decoration, Evans interprets Guy of Warwick as a composite work, not separate works as some scholars suggest. Examining Sir Isumbras as a homiletic romance, and Sir Degare and Sir Orfeo as Middle English lays, he shows how different versions of these romances, in their varied composite manuscript contexts, necessitate different readings of the "same" works, and also of their subgenres. Evans considers the manuscript structure of groups of works with different authorship and establishes six models of composite literary structure for Middle English literature. Evans argues that manuscript groupings of romances - and of romances with nonromances - enrich our interpretations of individual romances, romance as a genre, and medieval literary structure. This original study will appeal to readers interested in medieval romance and manuscripts, medieval literary structure, and computer applications in the humanities. MURRAY J. EVANS is professor of English, University of Winnipeg.

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Rereading Middle English Romance Manuscript Layout, Decoration, and the Rhetoric of Composite Structure MURRAY J. EVANS

McGill-Queen's University Press Montreal & Kingston • London • Buffalo

For Grace McGill-Queen's University Press 1995 ISBN 0-7735-1237-3 Legal deposit fourth quarter 1995 Bibliotheque nationale du Quebec Printed in the United States on acid-free paper This book has been published with the help of a grant from the Canadian Federation for the Humanities, using funds provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and a grant from the University of Winnipeg. McGill-Queen's University Press is grateful to the Canada Council for support of its publishing program.

Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data Evans, Murray James 1949Rereading Middle English romance: manuscript layout, decoration, and the rhetoric of composite structure Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-7735-1237-3

\. Romances, English - Manuscripts. 2. Romances, English - Illustrations. 3. Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval - Englnd. 4. Illumination of books and manuscripts, English. 5. Manuscripts, English (Middle). 6. Romances, English - History and criticism. I. Title. PR321.E831995 821'.0309 095-900241-3

Contents

Tables vii Figures ix Preface and Acknowledgments xi Abbreviations xix Illustrations xxi 1 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration: Touchstones 3 2 Romance, Nonromance, and Conventions of Manuscript Layout and Decoration: A Survey of Some Collections 15 3 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I: Sir Isumbras, the ' Isumbras-Group," and Homiletic Romance 51 4 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II: Sir Degare, Sir Orfeo, and the Middle English Lay 83 5 The Rhetoric of Composite Structure, or Rereading Middle English Romance: Conclusions 103

vi Contents Appendix: Lists of Data and Contents for Each Manuscript 115 Notes 163 Bibliography 187 Index 197

Tables

1 Dates of Each Manuscript in the Database, with Total Numbers of Items and Romances per Manuscript 17 2 Frequencies of Kinds of Items, with Comparative and Cumulative Percentages 20 3 Percentages of Red Initials at the Heads of Items 26 4 Comparison of Means for Extent of Decoration, for All Items, Romances and Nonromances 49 5 Comparison of Means for Extent of Decoration, According to Ranges of Length in Number of Pages, for All Items, Romances and Major Kinds of Nonromances 49 6 Generic Parallels between the First 40 Folios and the Isumbras Booklet in NLS MS Advocates' 19.3.1 78 7 Kinds of Manuscripts of the "Isumbras-Group"

79

8 Manuscript Version and Context, and Sir Isumbras as Romance and Homiletic Romance 82 9 Two Types of Middle English Lays, According to John Finlayson 102 10 Features of Layout and Decoration 104

viii Tables 11 Models of Composite Literary Structure as Derived from the 15 Manuscripts 111 Ai Data and Contents List for BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") 120 A2 Data and Contents List for NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") 123 A3 Data and Contents List for NLS MS Advocates' 19.3.1 127 A4 Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 132 A5 Data and Contents List for BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii 136 A6 Data and Contents List for BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix 140 A.J Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Douce 261 142 A8 Data and Contents List for BL MS Egerton 2862 143 A9 Data and Contents List for CUL MS Ff.2-38 144 Aio Data and Contents List for CUL MS Gg4-27 (Part 2) 148 An Data and Contents List for Gonville and Caius College MS 175/96 149 Ai2 Data and Contents List for BL MS Harley 3810/1 150 Ai3 Data and Contents List for CUL MS Ii-4-9 151 Ai4 Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Laud Misc. 108 154 Ai5 Data and Contents List for Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton") 156

Figures

1 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Title 21 2 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Incipit

23

3 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Opening Display Script 24 4 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Initial 25 5 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Opening Prayer 26 6 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Final Prayer 27 7 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Explicit

28

8 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Link and Summary 29 9 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Final Display Script 31 10 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Blank Space 32 11 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Contemporary Numbering 34 12 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Illustration 35 13 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Scribal Signature 36 14 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Medium 36 15 Relative Frequencies of Extent of Decoration According to Ranges of Values for Extent of Decoration 37

x Figures 16 Medians for Values of Extent of Decoration in Descending Order 38 17 Relative Frequencies of Item Length, in Number of Pages, According to Ranges of Length 39 18 Comparison of Means for Manuscript Features for Romances and Nonromance Items 40 19 Comparison of Frequencies of Manuscript Features for Romances and Nonromance Items, by Percentage of Valid Cases 44

Preface and Acknowledgments

The last twenty-five years have seen a marked increase in research on Middle English manuscripts, including those containing Middle English romances. Much of this work has had the effect of bringing together the previously disparate approaches of textual scholar and literary critic. In their pioneer work, for example, Dieter Mehl and Gisela Guddat-Figge have commented generally on the significance of different kinds of manuscript context for the romances in numerous manuscript collections.1 Derek Pearsall's two essays on romance in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, as well as chapters on manuscript books in his Old English and Middle English Poetry, have anticipated the York Manuscript Conferences and their published proceedings.2 There have been good detailed studies, usually of single manuscripts, such as those by Phillipa Hardman on NLS Advocates' MS 19.3.1; Carol Meale on BL Harley MS 2252; and Timothy Shonk on NLS Advocates' MS 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck"). Guddat-Figge's Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Romances has provided a crucial research tool for further study. Also noteworthy are the Scolar Press facsimiles of important manuscript collections such as the Auchinleck MS and CUL MS Ff.2.38, with their important commentaries and physical descriptions by Derek Pearsall and I.C. Cunningham (for the Auchinleck) and Frances McSparran and Pamela Robinson (for the CUL MS). Boydell and Brewer's Manuscript Studies series has published Julia Boffey's study of manuscripts of the Middle English courtly love lyric and John Thompson's of BL MS Additional 31042, the latter with numerous photographic plates. In

xii Preface and Acknowledgments

1989 the first volume of English Manuscript Studies appeared, as did a very important collection of essays, Book Production and Publishing in Britain, 1375-1475. The subject matter of this collection includes book production (in London, and in religious orders, for example); patrons, buyers, and owners; books by varied contents (anthologies, scientific and medical books, for example); and the transition from "manuscript to print."3 A leitmotif of much of this recent work is the need to look behind the modern critical edition of romances and other medieval texts, "with all the reassuring apparatus of titles and text divisions, capital letters and full stops, paragraphs and line numbers," to "all the information the manuscripts have to yield": "contents and contexts, make-up and layout, decoration and illustration, as well as texts and textual affiliations."4 One of many remaining scholarly gaps is the need for comparative detailed studies of a larger number of romance manuscripts, studies that also go beyond the more general, pioneering, comparative work of Mehl and Guddat-Figge, for example.5 My own interest in romance manuscript studies began with work on the Malory manuscript (BL Additional MS 59678), in which I explored the implications of physical layout6 and decoration of Malory's tales for structural and other literary analyses of his Arthuriad. Explicits, opening and final prayers, narrative links, titles, intervening blank spaces or folios, changes in quire or scribe or source - all of these features, I argued, suggest five linked narrative units in Malory rather than the eight autonomous tales of Eugene Vinaver's edition, The Works of Sir Thomas Malory.7 After having concentrated earlier on a suite of works by, according to modern critics, one author (Malory), I here apply the method of layout analysis to a larger number of romance manuscripts that includes many works by different authors. The present study focuses on the structural and generic implications of physical layout and decoration in twenty-six manuscript collections that contain romances. The project necessitated the meticulous recording of the presence (or absence) and extent of such features of manuscript layout and decoration as titles, incipits, large initials, display script, opening and closing prayers, narrative links or summaries, explicits, and blanks. All of these features occur at the heads and tails of items within larger collections. I and other scholars have argued that the presence of these features, or their selective absence, bear on the separation or cohesion of individual items within manuscript collections.8 In contrast to such detailed examinations, recent statements by a number of scholars on the significance of manuscript layout and decoration have remained at a general level. Alastair Minnis, for

xiii Preface and Acknowledgments example, discusses the trend in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries to consult originalia that assembled in single collections as many works as possible by one author, such as Augustine; with this trend came a clearer division of the text into parts, a division physically manifested by manuscript layout.9 In his booklength study of medieval poetics, Judson Allen makes a related and more general point: that the division of medieval texts "is frequently decided for us by manuscript rubrication."10 Pearsall similarly comments that "[c]hoices made in the decoration of manuscripts are also worth remarking for the evidence they provide of the status and dignity allotted to particular works."" It is not unusual for these kinds of well-founded generalizations to be assumed in scholarly discourse; it is rare, however, for them to be explored and tested further in the codicological detail of introductions to manuscript facsimiles or descriptions of individual manuscripts, on the one hand, and, on the other, with reference to a large number of manuscripts. This study intends to help fill this scholarly gap by further discussing the generic and structural significance of details of layout and decoration with reference to a large number of manuscript collections. Inevitably I have made several decisions for the sake of establishing a manageable scope for this study. At the beginning of chapter 2, I elaborate my reasons for concentrating on fifteen manuscripts out of the initial twenty-six I examined. My choices involved the exclusion of recognizably discrete kinds, such as manuscripts of the French Vulgate romances; the inclusion of manuscripts repeatedly singled out in scholarly discussion of Middle English romance, such as the Auchinleck MS and CUL MS Ff.2.38; and the inclusion of manuscripts that present some typical configurations of romance and nonromance items, such as CUL MS Ii-4-9, which contains only Robert of Sicily among exclusively religious items. Also, all romances in these manuscripts except one, the prose Alexander in the Lincoln MS, are in verse. This study, then, joins the bulk of Middle English romance studies in its concentration on verse romances, which outnumber those in prose by about three to one.12 Although discussion in this study is inevitably selective, its scope is broad. The fifteen manuscripts on which I concentrate contain alone about 400 items; these give rise to about 800 beginnings and endings, which are the focus of my examination and analysis. Recording, checking, and rechecking the mass of codicological detail in these beginnings and endings led to the analysis of a number of selected and arguably representative works, notably Guy of Warwick, Sir Isumbras, and Sir Degare and Sir Orfeo in their multiple manu-

xiv Preface and Acknowledgments

script contexts. By then exploring definitions of Middle English romance and models of medieval literary structure in relation to composite manuscript contexts rather than just individual works, this study also investigates broader generic and structural concerns. The number, importance, and representative nature of the romance manuscripts discussed also strengthens the significance of my conclusions for the larger corpus of romance manuscripts.13 My investigations have been driven by one principal question: "How, and to what extent, do features of layout and decoration provide evidence for groupings of manuscript items that include romances?" In particular, my aim has been to discover possible patterns of groupings of "romance" and "nonromance" items in the selected manuscripts, and more broadly, to explore the implications of such groupings for definitions of Middle English romance and structure in medieval literature. The chapters of this study pursue this aim in stages. Chapter i introduces examples of compilatio, the making or reordering of manuscript books, emphasizing its constitutive as well as subordinating functions. The chapter also introduces my quantitative method in the course of discussing my first test case for the significance of codicological detail for literary criticism. Do details of manuscript layout and decoration in the Auchinleck MS suggest that Guy of Warwick comprises three separate works, as Dieter Mehl and others believe, or that it is a composite work, as I argue? Chapter 2 is a quantitative survey of features of manuscript layout and decoration in the fifteen manuscripts, a survey meant to answer a number of questions: How prevalent are narrative links, between items, or prayers, at their beginnings or endings? Are romances decorated and laid out differently from other texts? Is the extent of decoration related to the length rather than the genre of a text? While chapter i discusses texts using a relatively simple example, chapter 3 addresses a more complicated test case: Sir Isumbras as an example of the controversial generic label, "homiletic romance." And, since Sir Isumbras in its various manuscript contexts often includes recurring members of a larger "Iswrafrras-group" of romances, the single romance is analyzed, not merely individually, but also in those composite contexts. Chapter 4 explores a third test case: Sir Degare and Sir Orfeo as examples of the Middle English lay which is, like the "homiletic romance," a problematic subgenre of Middle English romance. How do the different versions of these two romances, again in their various manuscript contexts, affect our readings of the romances and our definition of the Middle English lay? The conclusion places my discussions of Middle English ro-

xv Preface and Acknowledgments

mances and manuscripts in a broader context - that of medieval literary structure. Considerable scholarly attention has been paid to literary unity or structure as it applies to single or composite works by single authors, such as Chaucer's Book of the Duchess or Canterbury Tales. But how can we talk about the literary structure of groups of works by different authors - some romance and some not - groups more or less delineated in the manuscripts in which they occur? I do not propose a new definition of Middle English romance but instead draw on current approaches to the genre that tend to set up definitions and then qualify them when applied to individual romances.14 My method extends these approaches and sometimes qualifies received definitions, shedding new light not only on individual romances per se, but also on those works in specific and multiple manuscript contexts. My use of computers was necessary to establish a logical and systematic approach to a topic that can fall prey to inaccurate, impressionistic observations. Computer assistance enabled me to list details, count occurrences, and perform certain statistical procedures faster and more accurately than would otherwise have been possible. The technology helped me indicate not only what conclusions from the data are possible and convincing but also what conclusions are not. For example, Dieter Mehl's characterization of "the obligatory prayer" at the beginning of romances/5 an understandable impression, is upon closer statistical analysis proven invalid, given the significant number of Middle English romances that do not begin with prayers in representative manuscript collections.16 Not only was the use of computers part of the uniqueness of my project, then, but it will also ensure a higher degree of scholarly accuracy than would otherwise be possible. Computer assistance was, of course, only one of several methodologies employed here. With brief reference to current and protracted debates over the capacity of computers to generate meaning, I would argue that the lists of codified data on manuscripts in my appendix comprise, at least in part, what Colomb and Turner have recently described as a "grammar": "an account both of the systematic or codified aspects of meaningful objects and of the relation between those codified aspects and meaning."17 This codification is not, admittedly, meaningful in itself but is a shorthand of my analysis of certain features of manuscript layout and decoration; as such it informs my proposed readings of Middle English romances, readings that derive from other scholarly and literary-critical methodologies besides computer-assisted analysis. These include the use

xvi Preface and Acknowledgments

of historical background, close reading, and studies of Middle English romance as a genre. Many readers will be aware of the difficulties in determining what is accidental and what is intentional in the compiling of late Middle English manuscript collections, what arises from the luck of available exemplars, and what reflects the initiative - or at least approval - of the compiler of an inherited arrangement of texts. Much current work in the field tests the limits of evidence and persuasiveness in the face of many gaps in our present knowledge. Some scholars take the extreme view that there are no patterns of shaping in manuscript compilations and others, the opposite view that manuscript compilations provide irrefutable evidence of medieval literary-critical sensibility. I believe that the truth as it can now be ascertained lies on a continuum between these two poles and will vary according to the manuscript under discussion. This book would not have been possible without the assistance of many, only a few of whom space allows me to name. I am grateful to John Finlayson for introducing me, as a student twenty years ago, to medieval literature; and to Tony Edwards and Patrick Grant of the University of Victoria for their encouragement in this project. My thanks to colleagues who commented on drafts or conference papers, including Derek Pearsall, Maldwyn Mills, Carol Meale, John Thompson, Ian Doyle, Malcolm Parkes, Jeremy Griffiths, Julia Boffey, William Marx, the late Sally Horrall, Maureen and Jonathan Boulton, Timothy Shonk, Charlotte Morse, Marjorie Curry Woods, Martin Irvine, Jeff Evans, Alden Turner, Neil Besner, Robert Byrnes, Zbigniew Izydorczyk, and the two anonymous readers who evaluated the study for the Canadian Federation for the Humanities. For help with the statistics chapter, I thank John Hofley, Alex Basilevsky, and especially Jeff Evans. I am grateful to the University of Victoria and the University of Winnipeg for research monies and to the University of Winnipeg for granting me a research leave in 1986-87. My special thanks to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for its sustained and generous support through a number of research and travel grants. My fruitful sabbatical in Cambridge as a Bye Fellow at Robinson College would not have been possible without the warm hospitality of Professor Lord Lewis, the Warden of the College, and the Fellows, staff, and students of the College. For help with computers, thanks to Roger Kingsley, John Hilton, Cathy Stewart-Kroeker, Dave Bell, Glen Johnson, Marilyn Martin, Raymond Lau, Patty Hawkins, Ken Krebs, and Ernie Samulaitis at the University of Winnipeg; and

xvii Preface and Acknowledgments

to the Cambridge University Computer Laboratory personnel for the use of their facilities - especially to Paul Callow for his sustained, friendly assistance. For facilitating my access to original manuscripts, I am grateful to the staff of the British Library, the University of London Library, and the College of Arms; the Cambridge University Library, Magdalene College Library, Cambridge, and Gonville and Caius College Library; the Bodleian Library, Oxford, especially B.C. Barker-Benfield; the Lincoln Cathedral Library and Nottingham University Library, especially Joan Williams; and the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, especially Ian Cunningham. I am also grateful to those libraries acknowledged in illustration captions for their permission to reproduce photographs of manuscript pages. Finally, my thanks to Allison Sproul Dixon and her staff at Interlending and Document Supply Services, the University of Winnipeg Library. I am also grateful for the following additional permissions: from Everyman's Library, to cite from Maldwyn Mills, ed., Six Middle English Romances; Georg Olms, to cite from C. Horstmann, "Zwei Geschichten aus der Holle" in the reprint of Altenglische Legenden; from LC. Cunningham and Maldwyn Mills, to cite from letters; from P.R. Robinson, to cite her B.Litt. thesis; from B.C. Barker-Benfield, to cite his collation notes for Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61; and from George Keiser, to refer to an unpublished conference paper. I am grateful to Don Akenson, Philip Cercone, and especially Joan McGilvray, coordinating editor, at McGill-Queen's University Press and to copy editor Karen Smythe for their support in bringing this study to press. Publication would not have been possible without generous subventions from the Aid to Scholarly Publications Programme, Canadian Federation for the Humanities, and from the University of Winnipeg. My heartfelt thanks go to my parents, Isabell and the late Dr. Taylor Evans, for their love and lifelong example. Finally, I am deeply grateful to my daughter, Sheridan, and son, Andrew, for their joyful affection, and to my wife, Grace, for her love, companionship, and encouragement in this project and everything else. To her this book is dedicated.

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Abbreviations

Add. 31042 Adv. 19.3.1 Ashmole 61 Auchinleck BL Bodl. Lib. Cotton Caligula A.ii Cotton Galba E.ix CUL

Douce 261 EETS

Egerton 2862 f. ff. Ff.2.38

BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") NLS MS Advocates' 19.3.1 Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") British Library Bodleian Library, Oxford BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix Cambridge University Library Bodl. Lib. MS Douce 261 Early English Text Society; E.S., Extra Series; O.S., Original Series BL MS Egerton 2862 folio folios CUL MS Ff.2-38

CUL MS Gg.4-27 (part 2) Gg4-27(2) Gonville & Caius 175/96 Gonville & Caius College MS 175/96 The couplet section of the Auchinleck Guy-i Guy of Warwick The stanzaic continuation of the Guy-2 Auchinleck Guy of Warwick BL MS Harley 3810/1 Harley 3810/1 CUL MS 11.4.9 Ii.4.9 Bodl. Lib. MS Laud Misc. 108 Laud Misc. 108

xx Abbreviations Lincoln MS ("Thornton") LAA

Lincoln Cathedral Lib. MS 91

NLS

The Lincoln, Advocates', and Ashmole versions of Sir Isumbras National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh

SD SI SO

Sir Degare Sir Isumbras Sir Orfeo

i The transition from Gwy-i to Guy-2 in NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck"), f. i46v (Photograph by permission of The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland)

2 The beginning of Sir Isumbras in Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91, f.109r (Photograph by permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral, and Nottingham University Library)

3 The ending of Sir Isumbras in Gonville and Caius College MS 175/96, p. 107 (Photograph by permission of the Master and Fellows of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge)

4 The ending of Sir Isumbras in Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61, f. i6v (Photograph by permission of The Bodleian Library, Oxford)

5 Scribal signature by Heege, and contemporary numbering (xxx) at the beginning of Saint Katherine, in NLS MS Advocates' 19.3-1, ff. 29v-3or (Photograph by permission of The Trustees of the National Library of Scotland)

6 The beginning of Sir Degare, with blank

space and partial line of display script, in cut MS Ff.2-38, f. 257V (Photograph by permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library)

7 The beginning of Sir Orfeo ("Kyng Orfew") in Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61, f. i5ir (Photograph by permission of The Bodleian Library, Oxford)

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Rereading Middle English Romance

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i Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration: Touchstones

In his article "The Influence of the Concepts of Ordinatio and Compilatio on the Development of the Book/' Malcolm Parkes describes the development of compilatio in the thirteenth century '"both as a form of writing and ... a means of making material easily accessible" for the reader.1 The essence of the role of the compiler was the freedom to rearrange, to impose "a new ordinatio on the materials he extracted from others" by clearly dividing that material into books and chapters, or other sections, according to the subject matter. By the fourteenth century readers and librarians would insert features of compilatio, popular by then, into manuscripts that lacked them. In the case of Troyes MS 718 containing Ockham's commentary on the second book of Peter Lombard's Sentences, for example, a subsequent reader has added paragraph marks, marginal headings, running titles, and the underlining of citations. The influence of compilatio also extended to vernacular literature, such as Gower's Confessio Amantis and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.2 "Almost all the trappings" of the new ordinatio are present, Parkes argues, in the Ellesmere MS, a "spectacular example" of compilatio: "sources and topics are indicated in the margins, and the word 'auctor' is placed alongside a sententious statement. The text is well disposed in its sections, and each section is carefully labelled by means of full rubrics. There are running-titles, and the final touch is the introduction of pictures of each of the pilgrims (the basis of the division of the work) in order to assist the reader to identify them with the General Prologue. Last but not least is the way in which Sir Thopas has been laid out: the

4 Rereading Middle English Romance bracketing serves to emphasize the 'drasty' rhymes and the stanza division is carefully followed."3 For the purposes of my discussion, it is important to notice that Parkes sees the central principle of compilatio as a particular approach to the relationship of part to whole in manuscripts: that of "divide and subordinate."4 If new readers found whole manuscripts as they existed unmanageable, they divided them into more intelligible and mutually subordinated parts. Compilatio was not only a method of rearranging existing books, however, but also "a form of writing" to make new books - either by copying from exemplars cumulatively or by combining originally independent fascicles that had been produced piecemeal. For example, compilatio was a constitutive procedure for the Ellesmere MS and a method of rearrangement for Troyes MS 718. While the emphasis of Parkes's definition is on the "dividing and subordinating" aspect of compilatio, the process also worked in the unifying direction.5 Three examples of compilatio in manuscripts containing romances are especially interesting in light of this more comprehensive definition. BODL. LIB. MSS LAUD MISC. 108 AND BODLEY 264 The principal contents of Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 108, a West Midlands vellum manuscript, is the South English Legendary.6 Its imperfect opening, with two temporale narratives numbered 8 and 9 (my items lA and IB) suggesting the loss of seven preceding narratives, is followed by the sanctorale items (contempory numbers io-67/my items 1C and ID), further religious items (68-70/2-4), Havelok and Horn (71-2/5-6), a South English Legendary appendix (73-5/7-9), "Somer soneday" (76/10), and some later flyleaf pieces.7 Pamela Robinson argues that the compiling of the manuscript spanned the late thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries and was accomplished in four main stages:8 1 Four booklets of texts from the South English Legendary are written in late thirteenth-/early fourteenth-century hands. 2 An early fourteenth-century compiler gathers these booklets and numbers, and gives running titles to, individual items in crayon; the same compiler gives running titles to three further religious items (2-4) added by fourteenth-century scribes. 3 A subsequent late fourteenth-/early fifteenth-century compiler renumbers all items, including the last three, in ink, then adds and numbers items 5 to 10, including Havelok and King Horn.

5 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration 4 Late fifteenth-century hands, not the second compiler's, add three miscellaneous items on a flyleaf. But subsequent scholars have disagreed with or qualified Robinson's view of the compiling of the manuscript. Thomas Liszka believes that only one hand, and not two, wrote items 1-3. Liszka, Rosamund Allen, and G.V. Smithers agree that Havelok and Horn were written by an earlier hand (ca. 1300) than that of Robinson's estimate. There is doubt, too, regarding the scope of the work of Robinson's second compiler. Allen notices tKat the first compiler's numbering of items in crayon extends to Horn, item 6. This suggests that the compiling of all but items 7-9 (which have only the subsequent ink numbering) was complete at the time of the earlier numbering in crayon. Indeed, Smithers points out that items 7-10 are written in the same ink as that later ink numbering.9 The crux of disagreement is the timing of the binding of the South English Legendary material with the romances. Allen summarizes three possibilities for the binding and indicates where scholars already support them: 1 by the original scribes who regarded the heroes of the two romances as "saintly figures"; 2 by an early owner who regarded the romances as saints' lives, as did the later scribe who added items 7-9 (Guddat-Figge, Schmidt and Jacobs); 3 by a fifteenth-century compiler who filled empty folios with present items 7-10, then gathered them with the related South English Legendary material (Guddat-Figge, Robinson).10 The presence of different decorating systems may also betray successive stages of compilation and/or a temporary separate existence of booklets. For example item IB (as listed in the appendix, p. 154), a section of the South English Legendary that falls in Robinson's stage i, closes with an extent of rubricated display script that is unusual in its larger context. Items 2 through 4 (stage 2) - The Sayings of St Bernard, The Vision of St Paul, and The Debate between Body and Soul have no such decoration, except for rubrication at the tail of item 4. All subsequent items (5-10, in stage 3), except item 6 (King Horn), have rubricated openings. Numbering and renumbering, according to this view, represent the compilers' attempts to make the cobbledtogether collection appear more whole. On the other hand, Allen cites an unpublished joint study by Linda Voigts and Sonia Patterson, which proposes that the three flourishers were all working together in the late thirteenth century.

6 Rereading Middle English Romance In their view the differences in decoration I have noted are symptoms, not of long gaps between stages of production, but of different, and more or less sophisticated, decorating conventions.11 Although opinions differ on aspects of the compiling of Laud Misc. 108, the manuscript nevertheless provides an illustration of both kinds of compilatio: the rearrangment of old books, and the constitution of new ones. A second example of compiling in the latter sense, one which uses features of layout and decoration for cohesive effect, is the lavishly decorated Bodl. Lib. MS Bodley 264. This is a vellum compilation of two manuscripts that were originally separate. The first includes item i, "Li romans du boin roi Alixandre. Et les veus du Pauon ... " (dated 1338 in its title), and the second, items 2 and 3: the Middle English Alexander and Dindimus, and French tales of Marco Polo (ca. 1400). The collection exhibits four kinds of coherence.12 First, the frontispiece illustration (f. ir) is not the work of the fourteenth-century illustrator of item i, the French Alexander, but seems to have been executed by the same artist (ca. 1400) as that of item 2, the Middle English Alexander. The full illustration on f. 2V, although pertaining to the French Alexander, which follows, is not contemporary with it. The illustration was executed around 1400 by "Johannes" (f. 22or), the artist of the Marco Polo stories (item 3), who collaborated with an assistant; this illustration probably replaces a lost or damaged original of 1338-44-13 Thus, before the first item there are two illustrations with ties to later items: one full-page illustration anticipating the second item, and another full-page illustration executed by the illustrators of the third item. While replacement of a lost or damaged original may have dictated the placement of at least one of the two illustrations at the beginning of the compilation, the result is a sense of a whole book, not merely a sequence of delineated items. This first kind of cohesion is reinforced by the status of item 2, the Middle English Alexander, as a narrative insertion into item i, the French Alexander. A note on f. 6yr instructs readers to find an episode missing in the present work (item i) by turning to the end of it, where the missing episode is presented in "Engelyche ryme" (item 2), after which they may return to the continuation of the French version (f. 68r). The French version is not in fact defective, and the insertion bisects an integral episode in item i;14 but these two facts, known to us but evidently not to the compiler, do not negate this further link between two items in the manuscript. Additional cohesion for the collection arises out of the common ambience of the subject matter, marvellous adventures in the East, and from

7 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration

the evident attempts of the later scribe and illuminators to match their layout and illustration to those of the French Alexander.15 Thus illustrations, insertion of related material, grouping of common subject matter, and imitation of previous layout and illumination are four compiling procedures that were used to make these originally separate manuscripts cohere. My interest in the two polarities of compilatio, the divisivesubordinating and the cohesive, has prompted a closer and more systematic look at how features of layout and decoration help define, for readers, the composite structure of manuscript collections that contain romances. For Middle English romance in particular, there is no more fitting touchstone than the Auchinleck MS. In the context of recent scholarly controversy over the structurally divisive versus the cohesive effects of layout and decoration in the Auchinleck Guy of Warwick, this text will provide a test case for my method. Similar analyses will be conducted in subsequent chapters of this study. GUY OF WARWICK IN MANUSCRIPT CONTEXT The "Auchinleck" Manuscript, in vellum and dated 1330-40, is probably the work of six scribes working in the London area.16 Because of its early place in the history of late Middle English romance manuscripts this manuscript will be fundamental to my subsequent discussions of others. Almost entirely in English verse, "threequarters of its surviving bulk" consists of romances; of these seventeen items, eight are unique and all except Floris (item 19) are in their earliest copies.17 Of these romances Guy of Warwick may be, as Derek Pearsall suggests, "the great prestige item of the collection" for a number of reasons. In Amis and Amiloun, for example, there is a continual verbal indebtedness to Guy; elsewhere, a Speculum Gy de Warewike (item 10) is present in place of the traditional speculum "originally addressed by Alcuin to Count Guido of Tours." Finally, Guy appears in a list of heroes in Beves of Hampton, and the short story of Guy in the Chronicle (item 40) is not present in earlier versions.18 The importance of Guy for the whole collection is clear, and, fortunately Guy is also relatively well-suited to my method of analysis. The high frequency of missing folios at the heads and/or tails of items is probably a result of the excision of miniatures. There are, in fact, only twelve items in which initial and final folios are both complete: items 4,13,14,20,21,23,25,26,29,36,39, and 40. The gaps in the manuscript evidence are so numerous, then, that meaningful

8 Rereading Middle English Romance

statistics on features of layout and decoration at beginnings and endings of items in the manuscript as a whole are not possible. However, what partial evidence remains is cogent in ways other than the purely statistical. The Guy context in particular provides an almost whole context of the manuscript for consideration with respect to the possible structural significance of features of layout and decoration. Recent discussions of the Auchinleck Guy, moreover, exhibit a curious confusion about the significance of various aspects of manuscript layout for literary structure. In his Middle English Romances of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries, Dieter Mehl,19 for example, comments that while the versions of Guy in MSS CUL Ff.2-38 and Gonville and Caius College 107/176 follow the French version closely, the compiler of Auchinleck introduces some structural innovations. The first part of the story (item 22) is in rhyming couplets. What Mehl calls the second part, item 23, is not delineated in the contemporary numbering of the romance, but is apparently regarded to be a part of item 22. Mehl's part 2, item 23, does not begin in its own new column (see Illustration i) but includes a unique introduction to Guy and his exploits and changes to tailrhyme stanzas: both the introduction and the change in metre suggest to Mehl a new poem at this point. Part 2, Mehl continues, omits portions of the story of Guy's son, Reinbrun, unlike the other two manuscript versions of Guy, then ends with a summary and prayer. Then follows a "completely new poem" (item 24), with its own new number in the contemporary numbering and a prologue that summarizes the preceding action before telling Reinbrun's story (including the passages on Reinbrun that were omitted in item 23). On the basis of these details of manuscript layout in Auchinleck, Mehl argues that we have "three completely separate poems" in Guy. (What Mehl calls separate poems, I shall label Guy-i, Guy-2, and Reinbrun.) In her Catalogue of Manuscripts Containing Middle English Romances, Gisela Guddat-Figge disagrees with Mehl's view and with Kolbing's and Bliss's two-part division at the change in metrical pattern between items 22 and 23. For Guddat-Figge the Guy material "is given only one title and one number and is written by one scribe"; therefore "it seems more justified to consider it one item."20 Cunningham and Mordkoff and Carol Fewster agree.21 These differences of opinion concerning the Guy context in Auchinleck invite a critical reconsideration of the grounds for opinion: the significance of manuscript features such as scribal or metrical change, prayer, and contemporary numbering.

9 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration First, a number of manuscript features in Auchinleck are of equivocal significance. On one hand, as Mehl argues, the change from couplets to tail-rhyme stanzas at the beginning of item 23 (Guy-2) and their continuation in item 24 (Reinbrun) might suggest two romances: the couplet Guy, and a tail-rhyme Guy and Reinbrun. But Pearsall argues, on the other hand, that behind extant copies of several romance items lies "the collaborative activity of professional hacks with access to the same exemplar"; this collaboration accounts for a number of what Pearsall terms "arbitrary" metrical changes within several items. Beues (item 25) is in tail-rhyme up to line 474, then continues in short couplets; Richard (item 43) has the same change after its twenty-four-line prologue; and Roland and Vernagu (item 31) at line 424 changes from normal to short tail-rhyme. None of these changes comes at "a significant juncture in the narrative" (with the possible exception of the Richard prologue), nor at a change in scribe.22 While the reasons for these changes may not be, as Kolbing argues, "altogether unknown,"23 they remain so sufficiently unclear that they encourage suspended judgment on the structural significance of metrical change in Guy itself. A like response is also appropriate, I think, to the Reinbrun prologue in stanza 2 of item 24. The stanza provides some brief background to Reinbrun's story by reminding the reader of Guy's acts of prowess throughout Europe for the love of Felice - with whom he later begat a son, Reinbrun, the hero of the narrative to follow.24 The separative force of the passage - more summary than link - is mitigated, however, by its "verbal indebtedness" to the original narrative context of the summary in Guy-2; for as Laura Hibbard Loomis points out, the single Reinbrun stanza "keeps sixteen words" from Guy-2, a number of which are "used in precisely the same [narrative] context" as in Guy-2 and "are found in the corresponding lines of no other English text of Guy." It is probable, then, that Guy-2 and Reinbrun were, in Loomis's words, "made in conjunction with each other."25 There is therefore reason to see a linking effect between the summary and the earlier section of Guy. If the opening summary of Reinbrun does not provide entirely conclusive evidence for its importance to Guy's structure, neither does the change in scribes at the begining of Reinbrun. Both Guy-i and Guy-2 were written by the main scribe of Auchinleck, scribe i, but scribe 5 wrote Reinbrun and Beues (which follows), his only stint in Auchinleck. While nowhere in Auchinleck do two or more scribes collaborate on a single item,26 the change in scribe at Reinbrun can in itself no more indicate a structural division than does the change at any other juncture.

io Rereading Middle English Romance

Similarly problematic are the notions of narrative propriety that critics apply to the plots of Gwy-i, Guy-2, and Reinbrun. Mehl argues that the three items focus respectively on a courtly Guy engaging in adventures to win Felice; a penitent Guy who leaves his new wife to have new adventures, this time for God's sake; and the story of Reinbrun.27 No one would much disagree with these rough categories but, on the subject of whether the break between Gwy-i and Guy-2 is a natural one, critics do differ. Pearsall argues that the break occurs "at a significant juncture in the narrative" when Guy repents in favour of "a more purely Christian chivalry"; Fewster agrees that the change occurs "at a natural break in the poem." Loomis rightly points out, however, that Guy's love-motivated adventures of Guy-i break off with his slaying of a dragon before he has even seen Felice again.28 Their marriage, in fact, takes place 180 lines into Guy-2, and Guy's repentance, 84 lines after that. What is most striking about the break before Guy-2 is its abruptness, the narrative halting at Guy's presentation of the dragon's head to the king: The king was blithe & of glad chere For that he seye Gij hole & fere. At Warwik thai henge the heued anon: Mani man wondred ther-apon.29

able

After its opening - which consists of a prayer and a summary of the action of Gwy-i that culminates in the dragon-slaying - Guy-2 immediately picks up the narrative where Guy-i left off. The transition thus resists neat notions of appropriate narrative division, leaving us with the impression of an hiatus in an ongoing narrative. Many critics, including Mehl, underline the unique treatment of the Reinbrun story in Auchinleck. The early section of the story tells of Reinbrun's kidnapping from court and accidental arrival in Africa, and of Heraud's searching him out on the king's behalf, before Guy's death. Auchinleck removes this section of narrative from within the Guy story, where it resides, according to Loomis, as part of "one continuous story"30 in every other known French and English version; Auchinleck then consolidates this early Reinbrun material with the rest of his story, following Guy's death, in item 24. Frances McSparran, however, reminds us that "there is no extant manuscript of the Middle English Guy in which the histories of Guy and Reinbrun form one continuous romance":31 Gonville and Caius College MS 107/176 ends at Guy's death, leaving out the later story of Reinbrun, and in Cambridge Ff.2-38 the later Reinbrun section appears to be a separate item, set off by a blank column on the recto

ii Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration

(f. 231) and display script and a large decorated initial at the first column of the verso.32 The mental image of this folio in Ff.2.38 might profitably lead us back to more decisive considerations of the composite structure of Guy-i, Guy-2, and Reinbrun in Auchinleck, drawing on some telling details of their physical layout. First, the matter of contemporary numbering is surely significant, especially in light of Timothy Shonk's evidence that scribe i, in his capacity as supervisor of the production of the manuscript, added all of the item numbers after the manuscript had been copied and decorated.33 Gwy-i is numbered "xxviii" and Guy-2 continues under the same number; Reinbrun has a new number, "xxix." Much of the other physical evidence of the manuscript supports this two-part division in structure. At the junction of Gwy-i and Guy-2, for example, not only does no new number appear, but neither does title nor miniature (see Illustration i). Apart from those items that lack their initial folios or begin with stubs (including Gwy-i), all items in Auchinleck except six have titles on opening folios. Besides Guy-2, three of the items without titles are fillers at the end of quires (items 20, 21, and 39); the Liber Regum Anglie (item 40) has a rubricated incipit and a title in its explicit; and also untitled is item 10, Speculum Gy de Warewyke. Since titles are usual for items in the manuscript, then, the absence of a title for Guy-2 supports the argument that it is part of Gwy-i; so, too, does the absence of a miniature. I.C. Cunningham argues that the majority of items were originally preceded by miniatures, although only five are now extant.34 There are thirteen patches where miniatures once stood, eleven stubs (presumably survivals from the excision of miniatures), and six cases of missing opening folios. For the remaining nine items in Auchinleck, two (items 40 and 25) have elaborate foliate or historiated initials, three are short pieces/fillers (items 14,21, and 39), and three are by scribe 2 who evidently did not leave room for miniatures (items 10,20, and 44); the last without a miniature is Guy-2. It is probable, therefore, that scribe i used miniatures to open twenty-eight of his thirty-one items, the three exceptions being item 40 (with foliate initial), filler item 39 (with no illustration), and Guy-2. Since he did not provide a miniature for Guy-2, then, he probably did not regard it as a work separate from Gwy-i. A few other features support the conclusion that Gwy-i and Guy2 are probably parts of one larger romance. First, Guy-2 begins in the same column as the last lines of Guy-i, with no intervening blank space. The only other case of similar layout is that of Guy-2 with Reinbrun following. Shonk points out the Auchinleck compiler's

12 Rereading Middle English Romance

preference for beginning major works, especially romances, at the beginning of new quires: "Five of the seven major romances (those longer than ten full folios) begin on new gatherings." The other two romances of major length, Amis and Amiloun and Of Arthour and of Merlin, were apparently copied by scribe i in the middle of gatherings begun by other scribes, for reasons of economy.35 What is more, in the ten cases in Auchinleck in which the beginning of a new work coincides with a new gathering, six are romances. (This count excludes Auchinleck's imperfect opening and the fragments of item 33, Kyng Alisaunder, after missing quires.) The remaining "minor" or short romances that have extant beginnings begin in new columns or on new folios. A final piece of evidence, mentioned earlier, is the narrative link between Guy-i and Guy-2. Guy-i ends with Guy's slaying of a troublesome dragon; Guy-2's opening summary of the preceding action finishes with mention again of the dragon-slaying, before picking up the plot where Guy-i left off. And no explicit or final prayer punctuates the last lines of Gwy-i, nor does Guy-2 open with a noticeably larger initial. The only other extant narrative link in the manuscript is between Roland and Vernagu (item 31) and Otuel a Knight (item 32); again no intervening explicit and prayer are present. Roland and Vernagu finishes at the death of Vernagu by Roland, with this comment on the spread of the news: "To otuel also yern, / that was a sarrazin stern, / Ful sone this word sprong" (lines 878-80). In the next poem, Otuel will arrive at Charlemagne's court (lines 71-86) and announce his plan to avenge the death of his uncle, Vernagu (lines 337~54)-36 So manuscript features at the head of Guy-2 - the absence of item number, title, miniature, or start on a new column combine with features in Gwy-i's closing - a final link without explicit or prayer - to suggest the structural integrity of the two pieces.37 The break between Guy-2 and Reinbrun appears to provide contrary evidence, however. The last stanza of Guy-2 includes a summary of Guy's life, prayer and amen, and an explicit: Now haue ye herd, lordinges, of Gij, That in his time was so hardi, & holden hende & fre, & euer he loued treuthe & right, & serued god with al his might, That sit in trinite, & ther-fore at his ending day He went to the ioie that lasteth ay,

considered

13 Compilatio, Physical Layout, and Decoration & euer-more schal be. Now god leue ous to liue so, That we may that ioie com to. Amen, par charite. Explicit.38

Reinbrun then begins with a rubricated title, "Reinbrun, Gij sone of Warwike/' and a miniature, followed by a six-line initial, longish prayer and the announcement that the poet makes his "mone" of Guy's son, Reinbrun. The only detail militating against the separation of the two pieces is that Reinbrun begins part way down an existing column, as Gwy-2 itself does, whereas every other romance in Auchinleck begins on a new column. Unfortunately the tail of Reinbrun is missing in Auchinleck, so that its context cannot help us further. A new scribe (5) begins his first and only stint at the beginning of Reinbrun and goes on to Beues (item 25), which begins on f. i/6r in the first column. At the opening of Reinbrun, the fact that scribe 5 left room for a miniature is evidence of some planning in layout, although scribe i had to squeeze in the title, added, like the others, after the manuscript had returned from the decorators.39 While most of the features of the junction of Gwy-2 and Reinbrun therefore mark the latter as a separate romance,40 its unusual placing imitates the contiguity of Gwy-i and Gwy-2. Reinbrun may thus credibly be regarded as a sequel to the earlier poems, loosely connected to them.41 A close look at some of the physical evidence of Auchinleck's arrangement of the Gwy material therefore suggests that the three items are a group, with Gwy-i and Gwy-2 quite closely linked and Reinbrun loosely associated with the others as a sequel. In light of this probability,42 Mehl's characterization of the group as "three completely separate poems," PearsalTs, as "three self-contained romances," and Loomis's, as "three [romances] really,"43 are surprising conclusions when one looks at the manuscript evidence. Their conclusions thus provide shaky foundations for further literary consideration of the Auchinleck Gwy and Reinbrun. My discussion of the Auchinleck Gwy is meant not only to illuminate the structure of the work, but also to provide a sample of the method used in the rest of this study. Careful consideration of features of manuscript layout and decoration has structural implications for works that might have been presented, and perhaps read, together. As I mean to show in subsequent chapters, these issues should be of interest, not only to codicologists, but also to literary

14 Rereading Middle English Romance

critics who wish to base their readings of Middle English romances on an awareness of composite manuscript contexts. The five pieces of equivocal evidence cited regarding the Auchinleck Guy do invite a broader look at the use of such features of layout and decoration across a large number of late Middle English manuscripts. Such a survey is the subject of the next chapter.

2 Romance, Nonromance, and Conventions of Manuscript Layout and Decoration: A Survey of Some Collections

Before looking further at individual manuscripts in chapters 3 and 4, I wish to examine a large number of manuscripts to see what insights quantitative analysis can yield regarding the generic significance of features of physical layout and decoration. First, I will define and give examples of each of these features and provide data to answer questions pertaining to them. How prevalent are narrative links in these manuscripts, for example? If "Amen" is really the "medieval equivalent of THE END,"1 how many items in these manuscripts end with the word or with a prayer? Are spaces between items characteristically used for punctuating effect, or are they residual blank lines at the end of a scribal stint? To what extent do items have titles, and of what sorts? Second, I raise and answer this question: Are romances and nonromances laid out and decorated distinctively? Finally, I debate whether differences in layout and decoration between romances and nonromances may relate to genre or to some other factor. Do distinctive decoration and layout of romances result from their frontal positioning in booklets, where decoration is sometimes thought to be more extensive than at the ends of booklets? Or is greater decoration a function of the length of item rather than genre, inasmuch as romances are often long works? While I have encountered assumptions about rather than answers to these and related questions in scholarly conversation, I am aware of no published scholarship that addresses them. If romances and nonromances are indeed laid out and decorated differently, then two possibilities follow. Compilers may have communicated this generic

16 Rereading Middle English Romance

difference to readers, at least in part, by means of distinctive conventions of layout and decoration; and medieval readers, by recognizing those conventions, may also have been able to discern romances from other kinds of items. My analysis operates simultaneously on levels of generality and specificity - generality, because the pecularities of individual manuscripts are sometimes "averaged" to obtain an overview, and specificity, because every variation in individual features of layout and decoration may be counted, analyzed, and then placed in the larger view. Both views are needed. Individual analyses of manuscripts in the following two chapters should correct any tendency to distortive generalization in this chapter. THE DATABASE For the purposes of a manageable yet representative sample for discussion, I have limited my attention to fifteen manuscripts, listed in Table i in their probable chronological order. For each, the total number of items and total number of romances are also given.2 I have chosen these manuscripts for their range of dates and/or numbers of romances. The importance of many of these manuscripts is attested to by other scholars of Middle English romance manuscripts. Frances McSparran, for example, reminds us that, amongst them, four of the manuscripts - Ff.2.38, Cotton Caligula A.ii, the Lincoln MS, and Auchinleck - "contain about three-fifths of the surviving Middle English romances composed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, including three-quarters of the tail-rhyme romances ... No other single manuscript of the Middle English period contains as many romances as does any one of these, so they are clearly key documents for the study of the genre."3 The manuscripts on my list also represent a fair range of probable dates from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. I have also included, for the sake of representing the larger corpus of romance manuscripts,4 a number of manuscripts with only one romance each: Cotton Galba E.ix, Harley 3810/1, and 11.4.9. The first two of these manuscripts also exemplify collections of varied items, and the last is a religious anthology containing one romance - the problematic Robert of Sicily, discussed in chapter 3.1 have excluded from the list certain different kinds of manuscripts present in my original, larger database of twenty-six manuscripts, including: i) deluxe manuscripts such as the lavishly illustrated Bodl. Lib. Bodley 264, including Alexander romances and the travels of Marco Polo, which I discussed in chapter i; 2) manuscripts of the French Arthurian romances, such as BL Add.

17 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Table 1 Dates of Each Manuscript in the Database, with Total Numbers of Items and Romances per Manuscript Numbers of Date

Manuscript

ca. 1300 1290-15th c. 1330-40 ca. 1390 ca. 1400 1400-25 1400-25(7) 1430-40 ca. 1440 1446-60 1450-75(7) 1475-1500 ca. 1480 ca. 1500 1564

CUL Gg.4.27 (part 2) Bodl. Lib. Laud Misc. 108 NLS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") BL Egerton 2862 Gonville & Caius College 175/96 Cotton Galba E.ix BL Harley 3810/1 Lincoln Cathedral Library 91 BL Additional 31042 BL Cotton Caligula A.ii CUL Ii.4.9 CUL Ff.2.38 NLS Advocates' 19.3.1 Bodl. Lib. Ashmole 61 Bodl. Lib. Douce 261

Items 3 13 44 6 7 15 7 66 27 41 26 44 47 42 4

Romances

2 2

17 6 4 1 1 9 4 8 1 10 3 5 4

38117; and 3) manuscripts of predominantly chronicle material, such as BL Harley 6223 and College of Arms Arundel 22. Thus the fifteen manuscripts are indeed a representative sample of romance manuscripts; while scholars may debate their kinds, they are mostly collections of assorted items and are only modestly illustrated, if at all. SURVEY OF EACH FEATURE OF LAYOUT AND DECORATION IN THE DATABASE The following definitions and tables or figures for each manuscript feature, and the coded listing of features by manuscript in the appendix, are fundamental to this study. The features chosen are many of those that I and others find crucial to discussions of manuscript evidence as it bears, for example, on the structure of Malory or on Guy of Warwick in the Auchinleck MS (as discussed in chapter i).5 My aim has been to assemble systematic lists of these features for each item or work in the fifteen manuscripts. These lists will facilitate accurate rather than impressionistic comparison of these features in individual manuscripts and among all fifteen manuscripts. Definitions of each feature or variable of layout and decoration are given in the order of listing in the appendix.6 The order of listing of these features in the appendix resembles the sequence of their appearance (when they exist) in manuscript collections: kind of item,

i8 Rereading Middle English Romance

title, incipit, opening display script, opening initial, opening prayer, final prayer, explicit, link or narrative summary, final display script, and subsequent blank space/folios. Then follow other observed manuscript features: contemporary numbering of items or foliation, illustration, scribal signature, medium of the item (verse/prose), extent of decoration, and number of pages. Some of these other features (such as scribal signature) are less frequently present than the preceding ones; others (such as number of pages) do not pertain to sequence of presentation; and several (such as extent of decoration) are composite views of other features already separately listed.7 Definitions of each of these manuscript features will include examples relating to discussion in other chapters of this study.8 I also provide figures for each manuscript feature. These perform two main functions: first, the figures list observed values for each feature appearing in the data lists in the appendix. In Figure 2 (p. 23), for example, the legend lists values appearing in the data lists for the feature incipit: o for no incipit, i for an incipit, and 2 for a longer incipit. Second, figures indicate the relative frequencies of the occurrences of different values for each feature. In Figure 2, again for incipit, there are 286 cases of no incipit ("o"), or 80.8 per cent of all cases; 41 cases of an incipit ("i"), or 11.6 per cent of cases; and 27 cases of a longer incipit ("2"), or 7.6 per cent of cases. These relative frequencies establish expectations for the extent of use of manuscript features across the whole database - expections that will be useful reference points for discussions, in subsequent chapters, of particular features in individual manuscripts. These figures and their relation to data lists in the appendix require some clarification. 1 Lists of values in the legends of figures (e.g., "o," "i," and "2" for incipit) provide a key to values for two kinds of variables that appear in data lists in the appendix: numeric variables (e.g., title, incipit, opening display script) and, in a few cases, alphanumeric variables (illustration, scribal signature, and medium) that include alphabetical letters and not merely arabic numerals. An example of such alphanumeric variables is "P" for "prose" for the manuscript feature, "medium." 2 Numeric variables are sometimes paired with alphanumeric variables, descriptors indicating colour and other qualifiers in data lists in the appendix.9 For example, when consulting data lists for values for explicit, the pairing of explicit with a descriptor for the value "2 R" signifies an explicit that includes a title of the work

19 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions

(coded "2") and that is also rubricated (coded "R"). A blank space separates descriptors from numerical variables ("2 R"). 3 Figures for each manuscript feature also include totals for "valid cases" and "missing cases." Missing values (for titles, incipits, and so on) are of two sorts: values that cannot be determined because of destroyed evidence (coded "99" in data lists in the appendix) and values for which scores are inapplicable (coded "-").10 ln the figures, "valid cases" include all those instances of a manuscript feature that are not missing; "missing cases" are a total of the two kinds of missing values.11 Percentages listed in these figures are "valid percentages" whose computation excludes missing values.12 1 Kind of Item

Table 2 (see p. 20) lists kinds of items in the fifteen manuscripts in the database, arranged in descending order of frequency. Each kind of item is followed by its abbreviation in the data lists in the appendix, its frequency of occurrence, and the percentage of its occurrence relative to all instances of kind of item. Under "Cumulative %," the total percentage of frequencies calculated so far is presented at each line of the table. Three points in particular should be noted about this list. First, these labels for kind of items are rough categories for ease of starting discussion - "religious verse," "romance," and "moral work," for example, are broad classifications. Analysis in subsequent chapters will question and/or refine the categories in more detailed discussions of particular manuscript contexts. The data as they stand nevertheless give some initial idea of the variety of kinds of items. Second, it is also clear that some categories of items overlap, as do undifferentiated religious verse and prose, verse on the Blessed Virgin, and saints' lives, for example. So the total frequency of all religious verse in various subcategories is greater than 114, which is the figure for religious verse not otherwise differentiated in the list. Finally, 20 per cent of items (77 in total) are what many literary critics loosely call romances. 2 Title Titles obviously help to delineate items clearly from one another in manuscript collections; their absence requires that other manuscript features, such as display script or initials, signal a new work, if such

2O Rereading Middle English Romance Table 2 Frequencies of Kinds of Items, with Comparative and Cumulative Percentages Kind of Item

Abbrev.

Religious verse (undifferentiated) Romance Religious prose (undifferentiated) Verse on B.V. Mary Saint's life Moral work Prayer Political work Medical work Psalm Work for children Debate Satire Tale Dietary work Historical work On the mass Nonsense Prose on B.V. Mary Chronicle Religious debate On hunting On the weather Account Ballad Bestiary On B.V. Mary (verse & prose) Diagram On buying land Gospel Humour Love poem List of barons Proverb Religious prose & verse (undifferentiated) Song Tale (?) (torn folio) Table of contents Total

REL ROM RLP BVM SAL MOR PRA POL MED PSA KID DEB SAT TAL DIE HIS MAS NON BVP CRO DBR HNT WEA ACT BAL BES BVX DIA ECO COS HUM LOV LSB PRV RLX SNG T?L TAB

Freq.

%

114 77 37 24 24 21 14 9 8 8 7 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

29.1 19.6

9.4 6.1 6.1 5.4 3.6 2.3 2.0 2.0 1.8 1.0 1.0 1.0 .8 .8 .8 .8 .5 .5 .5 .5 .5 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3 .3

29.1 48.7 58.2 64.3 70.4 75.8 79.3 81.6 83.7 85.7 87.5 88.5 89.5 90.6 91.3 92.1 92.9 93.6 94.1 94.6 95.2 95.7 96.2 96.4 96.7 96.9 97.2 97.4 97.7 98.0 98.2 98.5 98.7 99.0

1 1 1 1 392

.3 .3 .3 .3

99.2 99.5 99.7 100.0

Cumul. %

100.0

delineation is important to the compiler. In the manuscripts (see Figure i), 62.2 per cent of cases have titles; almost half (43.9 per cent) of these are decorated with various colours. About one-quarter of existing titles are not freestanding at the head of items but are included in incipits, and about one-eighth are present only at the ends of items.13

2i Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend 0 None 1 Running title 2 Title 3 Long title

Valid Cases: 360

Missing Cases: 32 + 0 = 32

Fig. 1 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Title

In considering these titles, I encountered the recurring difficulty of distinguishing between a description of the matter of a text and a true title, a term that has modern connotations of a self-contained text.14 For example, compare the following excerpts from Ff.2-38: Here endith the profitis of ertheli anger and begynneth the mirrour of vices & of vertues. which also ys clepid the seuene ages (f.

20V)

The v bodyly wyttis (f. 32V)

Here bygynneth a tretice of thre arowis that schullen be schett on

called

22 Rereading Middle English Romance domesday agenste them that schullen be dampnedd (f- 33v) Here foloweth a good ensaumple of a lady that was in dyspeyre (f.54r)

The first two quotations (which I score as titles in data lists) sound like, or contain what sound like, modern titles - "which also ys clepid the seuene ages" (emphasis added) in the first quotation, for example. The last two quotations (which I do not score as titles) sound like descriptions of a matter common to many individual literary works, but bounded by no single one. This problem of titles and descriptions recurs in Malory scholarship, for example, in debates on possible distinctions between Malory's own "tales," his "matter," and his "book" or source.15 The difference between title and description may well hang on the evident transition in the period, from the poet's consciousness of his/her source and matter, to that of his/her own distinct work and persona.16 3 Incipit Incipits or announcements of the beginning of a work are usually set off from the body of the text.17 In the Lincoln MS, as will be discussed in chapter 3, for example, a number of romances open with variations on the formula, "Here Bygynnes the Romance off Octovyane" (f. 98v), which is centred above the body of the text and has some flourished letters. Incipits, which emphasize the beginnings of new items, are one means of delineating items in manuscript collections. Their incidence in the manuscripts, however, is rare: they occur in only about one-fifth of valid cases (see Figure 2). Briefer incipits usually with a mere title are more numerous than longer incipits, which usually include a description of the item or further introductory details.18 4 Opening Display Script By opening or head display script, I mean the presence and extent (or absence) of flourishing, enlarging and/or colouring of the beginning of texts - in titles, incipits, or first lines of texts, for example.19 Presence and extent of display script at the beginning of an item can thus emphasize that opening; the absence of opening display script

23 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend 0 None 1 Inripit 2 Longer incipit

Valid Cases: 354

Missing Cases: 38 + 0 = 38

Fig. 2 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Incipit

more readily allows items to merge visually into one another. While the split of presence and absence of opening display script is about 50/50 (see Figure 3), instances of generous head display script in the manuscripts are relatively rare (14.6 per cent of all cases). Moreover, only 30.4 per cent of valid cases, one hundred and seven in number, are variously coloured. 5 Initial

It is a truism that the use of coloured initials is a conventional way of punctuating the openings of new items in manuscripts; the larger the initial in context, the more emphatic the opening. In the fifteen manuscripts, a total of about 86 per cent of all valid cases have initials (see Figure 4). About one-third of cases are small initials, one or two lines tall, and about one-third are medium sized, three to four lines tall. Large initials of five lines or more are as frequent as cases of no initial (about 14 per cent for each kind).20

24 Rereading Middle English Romance Legend 0 None 1 Flourishing 2 Some display script and/or decoration 3 Marked display script and/or decoration

Valid Cases: 349

Missing Cases: 40 + 3 = 43

Fig. 3 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Opening Display Script

Conventions for initials vary considerably. On the one hand, for example, initials in Harley 3810/1 are quite small and none is coloured. On the other hand, only about 12 per cent of all cases are not coloured at all.21 Colouring, moreover, is not consistent within single manuscript collections. For those manuscripts that contain red initials in the database, for instance, the approximate percentages of red initials at heads of items per manuscript vary as shown in Table 3 (see p. 26), in descending order. This variety in the use of initials, including coloured ones, suggests the possibility that patterns in size and colouring of initials across manuscript collections are used to accentuate groupings of items or particular kinds of items. Chapters 3 and 4 will pursue this hypothesis in detail, in relation to particular collections.

25 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend 0 No initial 1 One- or two-line initial 2 Three- or four-line initial 3 Five-line or larger initial

Valid Cases: 353

Missing Cases: 38 + 1 = 39

Fig. 4 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Initial

6 Opening Prayer (see Figure 5) That such a pervasively religious manuscript as Ii.4-9 has only three opening prayers out of twenty-six valid cases underlines the fact that such prayers are not necessarily attached to religious items. Opening prayers can also provide emphatic openings to different kinds of items, particularly in the absence of (or in combination with) large opening initials or titles, for example. In the manuscripts, opening prayers are found in only 22.5 per cent of cases. Of these seventy cases, the ratio of long prayers to short ones is about 2 to i. 7 Final Prayer A final or tail prayer is one conventional way of concluding a work. There are, in fact, final prayers in about two-thirds (67.2 per cent) of all valid cases, including 7.6 per cent of cases that end with "Amen" only (see Figure 6). Longer prayers arguably provide more emphatic closings than do shorter tags. It is interesting that the ratio of long to short final prayers in the database is about 2 to i, the same ratio as that for long to short opening prayers.22

26 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 3 Percentages of Red Initials at the Heads of Items Manuscript

Percentage

Ff.2.38 Lincoln MS Add. 31042 Ii.4.9 Adv. 19.3.1

98 75 68 46 31

Legend 0 No prayer 1 "Amen" only 2 Short prayer 3 Long prayer

Valid Cases: 311

Missing Cases: 41 + 40 = 81

Fig. 5 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Opening Prayer

In spite of the prevalence of final prayer in the manuscripts, the view that "Amen" is "the medieval equivalent of THE END"23 needs some qualifying. In the rest of my study, I shall show how the sense of finality in prayer and "Amen" may be strengthened, or mitigated, by other features of layout and decoration at heads and tails of items.

27 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend 0 No prayer 1 "Amen" only 2 Short prayer 3 Long prayer

Valid Cases: 317 Missing Cases: 38 + 37 = 75 Fig. 6 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Final Prayer

8 Explicit There are explicits24 in only 45.1 per cent of all cases (see Figure 7). Most of these are "external" in the sense that they are set off, more or less markedly, from the end of the text proper. The last line of Sir Orfeo in Auchinleck, for example, reads "Explicit" (f. 3O3r). Less modest is "Explicit le Bone Fflorence of Rome" in enlarged display script at the end of Ff.2.38's item 42 (f. 254^. Some explicits are "internal," not set off from the text proper but part of the closing of the item. Item 36 in Ff.2.38, Sir Triamour, is one example: Here endyth syr Tryamowre That was doghty in euery stowre And euyr wanne the gree as the boke seys. (f. 9or)

time victory

Decoration of (external) explicits is taken into account in the final display script variable.25

28 Rereading Middle English Romance Legend 0 None 1 Explicit 2 Explicit plus title

Valid Cases: 346

Missing Cases: 42 + 4 = 46

Fig. 7 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Explicit

Explicits are one of the most emphatic manuscript features that delineate items from one another. That more than half of the items in the database have no explicit, and indeed that certain manuscripts have only occasional explicits, again invites attention to other manuscript features that may themselves have delineating effects. 9 Link/Summary My discussion of narrative links and summaries for the Auchinleck Guy might lead us to expect that the link/summary is an important feature for the linkage or separation of items in manuscript collections in the database. In fact, of the 348 valid cases of the feature, only 4 instances of summaries and 36 of links occur (see Figure 8). Substantial summaries, rather than brief allusions to preceding plotline, are only present at the end of Laud Misc. io8's Havelok, Adv. 19.3.1/5 The Hunttyng of the Hare and Sir Gowther, and Ff.2-38's The life of marye mawdelyn. Havelok, for example, ends thus:

29 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend -1 Final summary 0 No link 1 Link 2 Double link

Valid Cases: 348

Missing Cases: 40 + 4 = 44

Fig. 8 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Link and Summary Nu haue ye herd the gest al thoru Of Hauelok and of Goldeborw: Hw he weren born and hw fedde, And hou he woren with wronge ledde In here youthe, with trecherie, With tresoun, and with felounye; And hou the swikes haueden tiht Reuen hem that was here rith, And hou he weren wreken wel, Haue ich seyd you euerilk del.26

traitors; intended rob avenged every bit

Not only is this sort of summary very infrequent in the manuscripts, but the larger contexts of manuscript layout and decoration for these few summaries also suggest that none of them has a noticeable separating effect in the context of other features of layout and decoration.27 An example of links, present in only 10.4 per cent of cases, is present in the following excerpt from Ff.2.38, between items 3 and 4: "Here endyth the prouerbys of Salamon And begynneth the markys of medytacyoune" (f. i4v).28 About three-quarters (twenty-six) of the total thirty-six links are, in fact, from Ff.2.38; these links will form an important part of my discussion of the manuscript in chapter 3.29 Links/summaries are more content-specific than some other manuscript features discussed below. Their effect is largely a

30 Rereading Middle English Romance function of their wording, although links set off from the text proper of a work also have some visual impact. Since about 89 per cent of valid cases have neither links nor summaries, my hypothesis - that features of layout and decoration indicate possible groupings of items in manuscript collections - must rest primarily on other manuscript features. 10 Final Display Script By final or tail display script, I mean the presence and extent (or absence) of flourishing, enlarging and/or colouring of the endings of texts - in explicits or final prayers, for example.30 Decorative display script can thus provide a concluding border to an item; similarly decorative display script at the ends of items in a series may also visually reinforce their grouping according to topic or genre. While final display script is therefore relatively modest for the manuscripts (see Figure 9), the question of final and opening display script will be important for discussions, in chapter 3, of the romance section of Ff.2-38 and of the possible grouping of items in Cotton Caligula A.ii. As a comparison of Figures 3 and 9 will show, proportions of tail display script in the manuscripts are equivalent to head display script in all categories, except for cases of marked display script. There is also an approximately 50/50 split for the presence and absence of the feature at heads and tails of items, and the highest number of "present" cases for each feature has a score of "2" for medium display script. To what extent, then, do cases of head and tail display script correspond? There are only a few clear instances where identical values for head and tail display script in the same item are concentrated in a significant number of adjacent cases - notably in Cotton Caligula A.ii and Lincoln 91. (In this paragraph, I exclude matching scores of "o" for no display script.) Thus matching tail and head display script in the same item is not broadly at issue; but is there, instead, a significant correspondence between the tail display script of one item and the head display script of the succeeding item? There are only twenty-seven valid cases of this. The highest concentrations are in Cotton Caligula A.ii (seven) and Lincoln 91 (five). Cases in Lincoln 91 are dispersed, but those in Cotton Caligula A.ii occur at items 1-2, the apocryphal Susan and Sir Eglamour; 22-4, a succession of penitential items comprised of The Long Charter of Christ, Ypotis, and The Stations of Rome; and items 30-1, 32-4, and 35-6. This last group of identical values for tail and succeeding head display script occurs in a group of items otherwise marked by a common use of

31 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend 0 None 1 Flourishing 2 Some display script and/or decoration 3 Marked display script and/or decoration

Valid Cases: 346

Missing Cases: 43 + 3 = 46

Fig. 9 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Final Display Script

yellow wash. I focus on this particular concentration of coloured script in my discussion of Cotton Caligula A.ii in chapter 3. 11 Blank Space

Partial or whole blank folios can provide visual and topical separation between items in manuscript collections, while the visual contiguity of items separated only by a blank line or two can invite continuous reading in a larger group of items (see Figure 10). There are only 31.7 per cent of valid cases of blank lines or spaces in the fifteen manuscripts. Only 9.7 per cent (thirty-four cases) are substantial, with a score of 2 or 3; nine consist of more than a blank page. Such substantial blanks tend to occur at the ends of booklets, as in the Auchinleck MS. Such blanks are sometimes makeshift situations involving filler items and additional hands; for example, the

32 Rereading Middle English Romance Legend 0 No final space or blank page 1 Small space 2 Medium-sized space 3 A blank page or more

Valid Cases: 350

Missing Cases: 41 + 1 = 42

Fig. 10 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Blank Space

opening groups in Cotton Caligula A.ii and the Lincoln MS include items that were added by later hands in previously terminal blank spaces or folios.31 More substantial blanks in the manuscripts, then, appear to result less from aesthetic intent and more from the exigencies of producing manuscripts, as when a scribe in fact had space left over after his stint of copying. Making this distinction between the functions of blanks can be a challenge, however. In chapter 3, I raise the question of whether blanks are accidental or intentional in the Isumbras booklet in Adv. 19.3.1 and in the romance section of Ff.2.38. The recurrent use of fish and -flower illustrations in Ashmole 61, also discussed in chapter 3, in effect fills most final blank spaces in that manuscript. 12 Contemporary Numbering

Contemporary numbering, either of items or folios, clearly identifies sequence in manuscript collections of texts and sometimes also gives them cohesion. Contemporary numbering is present in only four of the fifteen manuscripts, or less than one-third of all valid cases. Item numbering appears in Auchinleck and in Laud Misc. 108 as part of successive stages of compilatio. There is foliation in Ashmole 61 and

33 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions in Adv. 19.3.1 for the first 40 folios (see Figure 11). In chapter 3 I shall discuss implications of foliation in Adv. 19.3.1, both for the structure of the collection and for questions of genre. 13 Illustration Eighty-six per cent of all valid cases do not have illustrations.32 (See Figure 12, p. 35.) All but three of the twenty-three cases of tail illustrations are in Ashmole 61, where the scribe named "Rate" frequently uses simple fish and flower illustrations. The thirteen cases of patches (NH) repair gaps from removed illustrations in Auchinleck; 5 out of the 7 head illustrations are also in Auchinleck. There are no illustrations in Adv. 19.3. i,33 Cotton Caligula A.ii, Cotton Galba E.ix, Egerton 2862, Ff.2.38, Gg4.27(2), Gonville & Caius 175/96, Harley 3810/1, or Laud Misc. 108. By and large, the fifteen manuscripts are only modestly illustrated, if at all. Use of illustration accordingly receives only occasional comment in my analysis, and only in connection with Auchinleck and Ashmole 61. 14 Scribal Signature Scholars have argued that the first-person mention of Malory's name in the conclusions of some tales in the Malory MS lends finality and thereby structural closure to those tales.34 Are final scribal signatures at the ends of items in the fifteen manuscripts of similar structural significance for closure and separation of items? Scribal signature is rare in these manuscripts (see Figure 13, p. 36). There are only thirty-eight instances in total, thirty-six of which occur at the ends of items, by the following scribes: Rate in combination with "Amen" in Ashmole 61 (twenty signatures); Richard Heege (seven) and John Hawghton (three) in Adv. 19.3.1; and Robert Thornton in Lincoln 91 (six) and in Add. 31042 (two). I discuss scribal signatures in Ashmole 61 and Adv. 19.3.1 in chapter 3. 15 Medium Only 17.9 per cent (seventy cases) of all items are in prose (see Figure 14, p. 36). One per cent (four cases) of items, all in the Lincoln MS, are in both verse and prose. The overall proportion of verse to prose in the manuscripts is therefore about 5 to i. Only one of the seventy prose items, Alexander in Lincoln, is a romance. My purpose in recording the medium of items was to check for possible concentrations of verse and prose as they might bear upon

34 Rereading Middle English Romance Legend 0 None 1 Folio/page numbering 2 Item numbering

Valid Cases: 379

Missing Cases: 13 + 0 = 13

Fig. 11 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Contemporary Numbering

groupings of items in manuscript collections.35 High prose concentrations occur in three manuscripts: in Lincoln (about 47 per cent, or 31 of 66 items, with four others in both verse and prose); in ^4.9 (42 per cent, or 11 of 26 items); and less so, in Adv. 19.3.1 (28 per cent, or 13 of 47 items) - all of which are mid- to late-fifteenth-century manuscripts. Ff.2.38 has about the same concentration of prose items (16 per cent, or 7 of 44 items) as that in all of the manuscripts (17.9 per cent, or 70 of 392 items). Add. 31042, Auchinleck, Cotton Caligula A.ii, Gonville & Caius 175/96, and Harley 3810/1 have little prose, and there is none in Ashmole 61, Cotton Galba E.ix, Douce 261, Egerton 2862, Gg4.27(2), or Laud Misc. 108. The only noticeable concentrations of prose under "kinds of items" are one-quarter of saints' lives (six cases), seven of eight medical items, and four of fourteen prayers. Undifferentiated religious prose, a distinct category, has thirty-seven cases. Otherwise, virtually all cases of other kinds of items are in verse. 16 Extent of Decoration "Extent of decoration" is meant to provide a convenient single score for the extent of decoration of single items.36 Frequencies of extent of decoration fall in ranges of values across the whole database as in Figure 15 (see p. 37).37

Legend YI Historiated initial YH Illustration at head of item YT Illustration at tail of item NH Removed from head of item None

Valid Cases: 369 Missing Cases: 23 + 0 = 23 Fig. 12 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Illustration

36 Rereading Middle English Romance Legend YX1 Scribe 1 at YH1 Scribe 1 at YT2 Scribe 2 at YT1 Scribe 1 at None

head and tail of item head of item tail of item tail of item

Valid Cases: 392

Missing Cases: 0

Fig. 13 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Scribal Signature

Legend V Verse P Prose Z Verse and prose

Valid Cases: 392

Missing Cases: 0

Fig. 14 Relative Frequencies of Kinds of Medium

37 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend For values For values For values For values

0-4 5-10 11-16 17-24

Valid Cases: 313

Missing Cases: 79

Fig. 15 Relative Frequencies of Extent of Decoration According to Ranges of Values for Extent of Decoration

Medians (or midpoints) for values of extent of decoration in each manuscript, charted in descending order in Figure 16, suggest the extent of decoration in individual manuscripts. The median for all valid cases is nine.38 From this list, it is clear which manuscripts are at the middle of the database for extent of decoration, which are less decorated, and which, more. Scores for extent of decoration are also particularly useful for statistical procedures that compare the layout and decoration of romances and nonromances, as discussed below in this chapter. 17 Length (in pages) The variable for length is computed by counting the extant pages of items.39 (See Figure 17.) About half of all values are in the one-to-four range. By far the largest proportions of values for length are for one and two pages,

KEY TO MANUSCRIPTS WHERE ABBREVIATED

Cotton G. Gonville Cotton C.

Cotton Galba E.ix Gonville & Caius 175/96 Cotton Caligula A.ii

MEMBERS OF THE "MIDDLE GROUP"

Add. 31042, Auchinleck, Ff.2.38, Ii.4.9, Laud Misc. 108, Lincoln

Fig. 16 Medians for Values of Extent of Decoration in Descending Order

39 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Legend Length of 1-4 pages Length of 5-12 pages Length of 13-18 pages Length of 19-175 pages

Valid Cases: 391

Missing Cases: 0 + 1 = 1

Fig. 17 Relative Frequencies of Item Length, in Number of Pages, According to Ranges of Length

each making up about 17 per cent of all cases. Generally speaking, for all values, size and frequency occur in inverse proportion to each other. Values for length are important when considering the possibility, discussed below, that the extent of decoration for romances is greater than that for other kinds of items. A COMPARISON OF ROMANCES AND NONROMANCES Comparing Means Do romances in these collections have different layout and decoration from nonromance texts? My expected answer to this question was that romances might well prove to be distinctive in layout and decoration, a hypothesis borne out in Figure 18 (see pp. 40-1), which shows the means or averages for values for pertinent features of layout and decoration. The "spread of values" information refers to

ADDITIONAL MEANS: For Extent of Decoration, 12.40 (Rom.) and 8.33 (Nonrom.). For Length (in pages), 30.20 (Rom.) and 8.86 (Nonrom.) SPREAD OF VALUES: 0-2 for Title (Rom.), Incipit, Explicit; minus 1-2 for Link/Summary. 0-3 for Title (Nonrom.), Display Script (Head), Initial, Prayer (Head & Tail), Display Script (Tail), Blank Space. For Extent of Decoration, 3-23 (Rom.) and 0-24 (Nonrom.); for Length, 2-141 (Rom.) and 1-175 (Nonrom.) NUMBER OF VALID CASES: For most features, 61-7 (Rom.) and 249-93 (Nonrom.). Exceptions: for Extent of Decoration, 48 (Rom.) and 265 (Nonrom.); for Length, 77 (Rom.) and 314 (Nonrom.) Fig. 18 Comparison of Means for Manuscript Features for Romances and Nonromance Items

42 Rereading Middle English Romance

values listed in previous figures in this chapter for each manuscript feature. The "number of valid cases" is given as a fraction of a total of 77 romances and 315 nonromance items. Significant differences between these means or averages for romances and those for nonromances occur for many features of layout and decoration. On average, romances in this group of manuscripts exhibit the following characteristics relative to nonromances: • • • • • • •

more titles, or longer ones slightly more incipits more three-to-four-line initials markedly longer final and opening prayers explicits without titles (nonromance items do not have explicits*0} more marked final and opening display script a greater extent of decoration.41

These comparative figures, then, indicate significant differences in features of layout and decoration between romances and nonromances.42 One way to confirm the validity of this comparison of relative means is to compare means for romances with means for particular numerous segments of nonromance items; these include miscellaneous religious items in verse and prose, verse on the Blessed Virgin, saints' lives, and moral items. The following results often uphold the previous comparative results: 1 Generally, means for features of layout and decoration in romance items are still noticeably higher than those for the same features in miscellaneous religious verse and moral items. 2 While this comparison also holds for many features of religious prose, means for titles, initials, and opening display script are equal for religious prose items and for romances. These data suggest that compilers paid similar attention to the delineation and decoration of openings in both kinds of items. 3 The mean for verse items on the Blessed Virgin is also equivalent to the mean for romances in the case of final prayers. The similar presence and extent of final prayers in the two kinds of items raises questions about the conclusive as well as religious functions of final prayers in romances that may or may not themselves be religious.43 4 Features in saints' lives not only often match the extent of those in romances, but the means for opening display script and titles

43 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions

are noticeably higher, suggesting that saints' lives have on average more delineated and decorated openings than do romances. The force of this comparison, however, is qualified by the low number of valid cases of saints' lives (twenty-one) relative to cases of romances (sixty-four).44 These control comparisons, then, qualify but do not undercut the conclusion of my original comparison: that romances are generally decorated and laid out more generously than, and thus distinctively from, nonromance items. Comparing Frequencies

Another way of confirming the significance of these data is to examine the relative frequencies of pertinent features of layout and decoration in romance and other items, figured below (pp. 44-5) as percentages of all valid cases for romances and for nonromances. First, the data are useful to counter understandable yet erroneous impressions of the use of these features in manuscript collections. The fact that only about half of the romances in the manuscripts open with prayers, for example, renders questionable Dieter Mehl's impression (noted in my preface) that romances open with an "obligatory prayer."45 Second, and more important, these data are significant for deciding a much broader issue: whether compilers used features of layout and decoration in ways that distinguish romances from other kinds of items. Comparisons of frequencies from Figure 19 suggest the following variations in use of these features: 1 Romances have titles and incipits more often than do other items. 2 Romances have a markedly higher percentage of large initials, and a somewhat higher proportion of coloured initials, than do other items. 3 Romances have proportionately more opening and final prayers than do other items. 4 While romances and other items have the same small percentage of links between items, romances have a markedly higher percentage of significant head and tail display script; by "significant," I mean "some" or "marked" display script and/or decoration, scoring "2" or "3," respectively, in my scale of values on Figures 3 and 9 above. Nonromance items in about half of the cases have no display script at all, a much higher proportion than that for romances.

Legend Romances

Nonromances

No Display Script (Head): Romances 24.6%, Nonromances 52.4% No Display Script (Tail): Romances 32.8%, Nonromances 55.4% Percentages for Prayer (Head & Tail) include cases where prayer is the single word, "Amen." Fig. 19 Comparison of Frequencies of Manuscript Features for Romances and Nonromance Items, by Percentage of Valid Cases

46 Rereading Middle English Romance

Taken together, these data indicate that while romance and other items share similar features of layout and decoration, romances almost uniformly have higher proportions of their incidence and/or degree. Bearing in mind that my sample of fifteen manuscripts represents the work of numerous compilers stretching over a period of about 250 years, these results are unlikely to be wholly coincidental. On the contrary, my comparative data suggest that compilers/ decorators regarded romances as distinct from nonromances, and that manuscript readers could therefore use features of layout and decoration, as well as content, to discern this generic difference. OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS CONSIDERED Some readers might object, however, that these differences in layout and decoration relate not to the genre of items, but to other aspects of manuscript production. I wish to address two other possibilities: first, that booklets are more decorated at their beginnings; and second, that longer items (often romances) are more decorated than shorter ones. More Pronounced Decoration at Beginnings of Booklets

While the manuscripts in the database do not provide conclusive evidence for the hypothesis that more elaborate decoration occurs at the beginnings of booklets, such evidence as is available is noteworthy. In nine manuscripts, beginnings of booklets coincide with beginnings of items, but of thirty-seven instances in all (excluding singleitem booklets), missing values in eighteen cases yield no scores for extent of decoration.46 Of the remaining nineteen valid cases, fifteen support the hypothesis that openings of booklets are more decorated, and four do not. But of the fifteen cases supporting the hypothesis, only five booklets open with romances whereas ten open with other kinds of items. Of the remaining four valid cases with less decoration at beginnings of booklets, moreover, two open with romances and two with nonromances. Although these figures support only very partial conclusions, then, they do suggest that while openings of booklets in manuscripts in the database are indeed often more decorated than closings, initial items in those more decorated openings are more frequently not romances. The distinctive layout and decoration of romances in my manuscripts is therefore not necessarily a function of opening position in booklets.

47 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Decoration as a Function of Length

Perhaps the differences between romance and nonromance items noted in this chapter are not genre-specific but are related to length, since on average, romances are longer than nonromance items.47 Such an hypothesis would suggest a positive correlation between extent of decoration and length of items: the longer the items, the greater extent of decoration. We may use single measures, called Pearson coefficients, to analyze this correlation. A perfect positive or "linear" correlation, where values for extent of decoration rise uniformly as values of length rise, would score "i"; "-i" would indicate a linear negative correlation (i.e., the condition in which values for extent of decoration would uniformly fall as values of length rise, for example). An examination of correlations between length of items and extent of decoration for all the manuscripts, according to previously determined ranges of values for length figured above, does not, however, yield significant results. The correlation of the two variables for all valid cases (312) is .2300**, for romance cases, .0315 (48 cases), and for nonromance, .1697* (264 cases).48 All these coefficients are too low to be significant; and so are those for the four ranges of values of length used above. In the database as a whole, then, there is no strong correlation between length and extent of decoration for either kind of item - and certainly not for romances in particular. A look at the same correlation for individual manuscripts, where there are sufficient numbers of items or valid statistics available, renders no better result. First, coefficients for all items in individual manuscripts indicate generally moderate but not strong correlations. These moderate correlations mean that, when considering all kinds of items together, greater length of items is noticeably but not consistently accompanied by greater extent of decoration for most of the manuscripts. Second, for those few manuscripts with sufficient numbers of valid cases to produce coefficients for romances, correlations for romances are greater than those for nonromances - for (in descending order) Cotton Caligula A.ii, Ashmole 61, and the Lincoln MS.49 Not only do these statistics therefore pertain to only a small segment of all fifteen manuscripts, but the coefficients also indicate only moderate, and not strong, positive correlations between extent of decoration and length of items for the three manuscripts. Both these results, then, are partial; but even such partial results do not strongly suggest that the extent of decoration for romances relates to their length rather than genre.

48 Rereading Middle English Romance

A more conclusive statistical method of investigating the correlation between length and extent of decoration of items is to examine relative means for extent of decoration, again using those ranges of values for length (in number of pages) listed previously in this chapter. In Table 4, total numbers of valid cases are included in parentheses; the last column totals valid and missing cases. These figures indicate that for all items, romances and nonromances alike, there appears to be a positive correlation between extent of decoration and length of items: as ranges of length increase, so do means for extent of decoration.50 There is some variation in extent of decoration, however, depending on the kind of item selected. Between values of 13-18 and of 19-175 for length, extent of decoration either remains effectively constant (for all kinds of items), decreases (for romances), or increases (for nonromances). The means for romance, moreover, are higher than those for nonromance in these two ranges of length. While these variations are not large, they do lead us to question whether extent of decoration is related, not only to the length, but also to the genre of items. The relevance of this question is borne out by the following comparison of means for extent of decoration in romances and in other kinds of items according to previously cited ranges of length. Numbers of cases for each mean (Table 5) are included in parentheses. These data indicate additional generic differences, beyond those given in the previous table, in means for extent of decoration according to ranges of length: 1 For "all items," "romances," and "religious verse," there is little difference in extent of decoration for the two upper ranges of length, whereas for religious prose, there is a leap in means between those two ranges. 2 The difference in means between the second and third ranges of length is most marked for romances (with the exceptions of verse on the Blessed Virgin and of saints' lives, where there is only one case in the third range). 3 Romances have a greater extent of decoration than does religious verse, wherever there are extant cases for comparison. 4 Religious prose items have identical means for extent of decoration in each range of length except the highest. 5 Decoration decreases for saints' lives as length increases (with the exception of the single case for length of 13 to 18 pages). These comparisons of means thus indicate that differences in extent of decoration relate to the genres of texts. What relationship,

49 Romance, Nonromance, and MS Conventions Table 4 Comparison of Means for Extent of Decoration for All Items, Romances and Nonromances Length

Mean for All Items

Mean for Romance

1-4 5-12 13-18 19-175

7.2 (169) 9.5 (66) 12.3 (27) 12.4 (50)

9.9 (9) 13.5 (13) 12.7 (26)

- (0)

Mean for Nonromance

Total Number of All Cases

7.2 (169) 9.5 (57) 11.1 (14) 12.0 (24)

196 87 39 69

Table 5 Comparison of Means for Extent of Decoration, According to Ranges of Length in Number of Pages, for All Items, Romances and Major Kinds of Nonromances Length Item* All items ROM REL RLP BVM SAL MOR

1-4

7.2 (169)

- (0)

7.6 9.7 7.4 12.8 6.3

(54) (23) (14) (5) (18)

5-12

13-18

29-275

9.5 (66) 9.9 (9) 9.1 (30) 9.7 (3) 10.0 (2) 12.2 (9) 8.0 (1)

12.3 (27) 13.5 (13) 10.6 (7) 9.7 (3) 6.0 (1) 22.0 (1)

12.4 (50) 12.7 (26) 11.3 (8) 16.3 (4) 8.0 (2) 11.3 (4) - (0)

- (0)

* See appendix, pages 118-19, for key to abbreviations.

then, remains between length and extent of decoration for romances and nonromances? The chi-squared measure of association can indicate whether or not there is a relationship between values of length and extent of decoration, and can measure the degree of association of the two features.51 When the measure is calculated for nonromance items, there is a probability of better than .995 that an association exists between the values of length and extent of decoration. This association is, however, a weak one - .1 on a scale of o to i - and exists primarily for shorter nonromances (one to twelve pages in length), about eighty-six per cent of cases. For the remaining and longer nonromances, then, there is virtually no association between length and extent of decoration. When the measure is calculated for romance items, however, there is a greater than .995 probability that there is no relationship, at all, between extent of decoration and length of romances. Therefore, extent of decoration for romances has nothing to do with their length. These calculations thus present us with a final generic distinction: for nonromances, extent of decoration and length are weakly related, primarily in the case of shorter items, but for romances, length and extent of decora-

50 Rereading Middle English Romance

tion are not related at all. More importantly, these measures indicate no substantial connection between length and extent of decoration for any items in the manuscripts, whatever their genres. Chi-squared measures thus reveal that the maxim "The longer the text, the more decorated it is" is statistically invalid, except, in a small way, for nonromances. On the other hand, comparisons of means indicate numerous generic distinctions in extent of decoration, particularly regarding greater extent of decoration for romances relative to nonromances. Therefore, the more generous decoration of romances relates, not to their length, but to their genre.52 CONCLUSION My discussions in this chapter were meant, not only to define each feature of layout and decoration, but also to reflect on how these features can serve to separate or link texts in manuscript collections. Data on relative frequencies for each feature in the fifteen manuscripts establish reference points for chapters 3 and 4, which discuss these features in individual manuscripts. I have already indicated that these features are not present uniformly throughout the fifteen manuscripts: Ff.2-38, for example, contains most of the links in my database, and opening prayers are relatively rare. In subsequent chapters, we must therefore allow for the peculiarities of individual manuscripts. The need for my repeated qualifications of statistical conclusions in this chapter and its notes will be verified by an examination of individual manuscripts.53 Do manuscript compilers, for example, use differing salient features of layout and decoration as guides by which readers might discern groups of items? Moreover, the fact that romances are more decorated than nonromances in the manuscripts - my conclusion in the last part of this chapter - provides a further reason for my singling out romances in this study. I begin the next chapter by discussing how manuscript context can illuminate our understanding of what many critics have come to regard as a subgenre of Middle English romance, the homiletic romance.

3 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I: Sir Isumbras, the Isumbras-Group, and Homiletic Romance

Literary critics of Middle English romance have come to use the term "homiletic romance" (or an equivalent label) to describe those works that embody some combination of religion and knightly adventure. According to Dieter Mehl, for example, such works can be termed "as either secularized Saints' legends or legendary romances because they occupy a position exactly in the middle between these two genres." For him, Le Bone Florence "illustrates the juxtaposition of romance and legend particularly clearly because neither genre is completely subordinated to the other."1 In a similar vein, Maldwyn Mills's categories for Middle English romance - the chivalrous, the heroic, and the edifying - are especially useful, he suggests, for analyzing parts of the same romance. He sees in Guy of Warwick a portrait of the hero-knight in three stages of activity: pursuing adventures for his lady; acting as heroic companion in arms; and devoting himself to God's service. Guy of Warwick thus furnishes a long and extreme example of all three of Mills's categories in one romance.2 Derek Pearsall suggests that "the blurring of form which so perplexes the modern scholar, preoccupied with matters of generic definition, is the precise goal of these [romance] writers, whether they be entertainers with a touch of piety or hagiographers with an eye for their audience."3 Yet in a recent study, Andrea Hopkins specifies a particular relationship between religion and romance in a number of Middle English penitential romances. They depict a view, by then archaic, of "penitence as overwhelming, as experienced once only, and as

52 Rereading Middle English Romance

much more concerned with the individual's relationship to God" than with recourse to confession and penance as advocated by the contemporary Church. Penitential romances thus "explore the nature of remorse and rehabilitation, learning and growth, by focusing on the sinner's awareness of his guilt and his relationship with God." The romances tell stories, rather than teach; they are skilfully albeit "morally educative" - not frankly didactic, as saints' lives are. Yet their values "are related to secular ideals and achievements which are not compatible with the resignation of worldly interests and submission to God's will projected in hagiography."4 Susan Crane makes this last point more emphatically, disputing that so-called homiletic romances have a "symbiotic ... interrelation of religious and secular impulses." She quotes William of Nassington, who criticizes romance as "veyn carpyng" concerning "dethes of armes" and "amours" and who explicitly targets Octavian, Isumbras, Beves, and Guy, however much their stories may please some. Crane argues that modern literary critics such as Laura Braswell, G.W. Owst, and M.D. Legge, who take a synthetic view of religion and romance, must ignore these contemporary condemnations of romance; instead, they often argue for romance's superior effectiveness compared to saints' lives in promoting Christian truth and accuse clerkly critics such as Nassington of literary ignorance and even professional jealousy.5 Pious romances, Crane continues, "revise hagiography's ideal models of surrender to God, transcendent faith, and heavenly apotheosis"; in fact, their commitment to "social integration and earthly apotheosis" is "opposed to Christian teaching."6 Crane applies her thesis to a number of Anglo-Norman and Middle English romances, including Guy of Warwick, with particular focus on Guy's "repentance" - which led him to a godly knighthood, after his earlier martial career had culminated in marriage to Felice. Crane sees this change as "a deliberate reversal in the secular sphere of his earlier proud actions, rather than an irrevocable surrender of will and identity to God." In contrast with the Alexis legend from which Guy appears to derive, for example, Guy continues with worldly knightly activities, albeit with evident asceticism and tokens of grace; he remains preoccupied with vengeance and national defence against a Danish invasion rather than retreating from the world, as Alexis did. Guy also receives acclaim for his prowess and holiness, not social rejection and insult. Instead of concealing his old identity unto death, as Alexis does, Guy "takes time out from anonymity to say goodbye to his friends and make provisions for his son," Reinbrun; although his reunion with his

53 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I wife at his deathbed is fleeting, it nonetheless "reaffirms their union."7 Crane's conclusions rest on a literal acceptance of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century clerical condemnations of romance, so frequent as to be almost a commonplace of the period.8 Her analysis is also starkly dichotomous; she measures Guy against saints and martyrs and finds him wanting: "Hagiography divides existence into opposing camps: spirituality versus secularity, service to God versus service to Mammon. The saints of legend must reject the one camp for the other and must be prepared to defend their choice with their lives." She admits that saints' lives themselves appropriate "fabulous, affective, and dramatic elements from romance when they can make images of the holy life more compelling," but in her view such appropriation does not dilute the legends' condemnation of romances themselves.9 The nub of her argument, then, is that since Guy and other romance heroes are not saints or martyrs, they cannot be literary vehicles for Christian truth, and that they in fact embody values ultimately antithetical to true Christianity. By these standards, however, William Langland could hardly be regarded a Christian poet. In Piers Plowman, Langland is evidently concerned with Christian reform of the feudal system (as guided by an idealized plowman); the controversial Hundred Years' War; just counsel for kings;10 and the implications of redde quod debes, the demand of Piers's pardon. Langland's poem, therefore, "is not an essay de contemptu mundi, rejecting an ugly world for the bright, distant prospect of the Church Triumphant; rather it bears on the duties and potentialities of the Church Militant, the Christian individual submerged in the grimy turmoil of nowadaies."™ In privileging ascetic medieval Christianity, Crane ignores its thisworldly dimensions as they apply to Christian poems like Piers Plowman, to characters in homiletic romances, and, presumably, to their readers, who are not contemplative hermits but probably laypersons engaged in the "active" if not the "mixed life." The probable nature of these audiences, still a subject for speculation,12 also leads us to question Crane's notions of anti-Christian ideology in homiletic romances. Felicity Riddy reflects more ironically that Sir Isumbras, for example, appeals to a dividedness of attitude to worldly things: "The appeal of the story seems to be to a sense of insecurity, against which it offers consolation; it is a tale for people who cannot quite believe their luck, who know in their bones that deprivation and hardship are part of the human lot and who cannot therefore take a careless pleasure in prosperity."13 What Pearsall suggests for the Auchinleck MS in general we may particularize for

54 Rereading Middle English Romance

the audience of the Auchinleck Guy: it "was one that wished to be both edified and entertained; one that relished familiar piety and instruction, but one that also desired access, in the native tongue, to the historical dignities and fashionable haut monde of romance ... The taste that it appeals to and is designed for is that of the aspirant middle-class citizen, perhaps a wealthy merchant."14 Frances McSparran writes that the late fifteenth-century collection that also contains Guy, CUL MS Ff.2-38, could well serve "for family reading in a pious middle-class household."15 These probable audiences, with their family and professional responsibilities, are not likely to have been able to emulate saints' lives in terms of the ascetic "true Christianity" that Crane sees lacking in homiletic romances. But the presence of many romances of just that sort in both Auchinleck and Ff.2.38 was bound to appeal to Christian readers in families and professions, people whose situations were rather more like that of Guy than of Saint Alexis.16 Crane does comment on how departures from their AngloNorman sources "make English romances more exemplary than their sources, but also more natural. Representations of ideal behavior become immediate and material in Middle English."17 The ideological accompaniments of these changes need not be sub- or anti-Christian, however. David N. Klausner, for example, cites a version of the Guy story from the Gesta Romanorum, possibly known to the Auchinleck Guy redactor, in which Christ requires that Guido repent in Guy fashion: "Guido, Guido, sicut bella sepius commisisti pro amore unius puelle, tempus est ut pro meo amore studens viriliter contra inimicos pugnare" ("Guido, Guido, just as you have fought battles more often for the love of a maiden, now it is time that you, taking pains for my love, fight vigorously against your enemies"); his later battles are also termed "plurima bella pro Christi amore" ("many battles for the love of Christ").18 The English Guy's decision to repent, Klausner argues, hinges on rejecting good deeds of his past - those combats that, while just, were also bloody - in favour of good, knightly deeds that will win him heaven. Moreover, in departing from his newly wedded bride, Felice, Guy goes through the standard, identifiable steps of penance. Unlike the Alexis story, "the essence of Guy's story is his confrontation with his wife and his defense of his position"; she is "the living symbol of the world from which he must break away," and that break is therefore more dramatically forcible than Alexis's. The English Guy's livelier characters and, by the conclusion of poem, the incorporated historical setting in which Guy defends England against a Danish invasion vividly relate the debate of Christian principle in the poem

55 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

to the lives of its readers, making it less distant than is Alexis's career.19 SIR ISUMBRAS AND THE

"ISUMBRAS-GROUP"

The bearing on homiletic romance of the concerns outlined above the this-worldly dimension of medieval Christianity, lively and concrete characters and situations, and the lay concerns of professional/family readers of manuscripts containing these romances - is best pursued with reference to a particular instance of the subgenre, Sir Isumbras (SI). That this label is applicable to SI is not surprising, given its plot summary: "The hero of Sir Isumbras, absorbed in happy family life, forgets his duty to God until visited with misfortune, Saracens carrying off his wife, wild beasts his children, an eagle his gold; all this he bears patiently, labouring as a smith until, after many years, an angel announces his forgiveness and good fortune returns, he finds his gold in the eagle's nest, recovers his queen, and is joined by three knights, who prove to be his sons, in forced conversion of his pagan subjects."20 The work has numerous remarkable resemblances to the saint's life, St Eustace. Isumbras's and Eustace's trials are both endured for "reasons of penance," for example; the separation from their wives is "as a result of force, not false accusations"; and their children fight with, not against them in the final battle that brings the families back together. There is also a major difference between the two: Isumbras is already a Christian when confronted with repentance, while Eustace is not; and so Isumbras "suffers because of his sins, not because he may thereby acquire martyrdom."21 Eustace does become a martyr, but miraculous deliverance from superior pagan numbers in battle prevents Isumbras's apparently imminent martyrdom.22 While Braswell thus emphasizes the similarities between the romance and the legend, Crane highlights the differences. Isumbras is not merely a humble penitent under God but also exhibits "an economic aggressiveness that restores his social standing and avenges his wife"; his penance is "a temporary disadvantage to be suffered in hope of future rewards" rather than a rejection of an unstable world for God. To this, Braswell would counter that although the ending of SI includes his temporal reward, there is nevertheless a final "echo of the heavenly bliss which ends the Eustace legend" in the pair's going to heaven and in a closing prayer.23 For a more detailed discussion of these differing views of SI in particular, and of the nature of homiletic romances in general, it is useful to focus on SI and the group of Middle English romances

56 Rereading Middle English Romance with which it frequently appears in manuscript. This group recurs, in whole or in part, in nine manuscript collections (which I list in their probable chronological sequence): Egerton 2862, Gonville and Caius 175/96, Lincoln Cathedral Library "Thornton" 91, Cotton Caligula A.ii, Biblioteca Nazionale xm.B.29, Advocates' 19.3.1, CUL Ff.2-38, Ashmole 61, and Douce 261.24 These manuscripts date from the late-fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries. The recurring group of romances includes The Earl of Toulous, Libeaus Desconus, Octavian, Sir Eglamour, Sir Isumbras, Beves of Hampton, and Sir Degare. Although all seven romances do not appear at once in any of the manuscripts, one manuscript contains a pair from the group; four have threesomes of the group (two have two members in common); two have foursomes of the group (with three members in common); one contains five members of the group. Sir Isumbras itself appears in seven manuscripts; for this reason I tentatively call the recurring clusters of romances the "Isumbrasgroup." My purpose is not to argue that these manuscripts derive this association of romances from one another; much extant evidence suggests that this is not the case. The overlap of contents indicated does nevertheless suggest that these romances were associated together, perhaps intentionally, in the compiling of the manuscript collections, and that they were read together.25 I should like to examine, with particular attention to physical layout and decoration, not only the occurrence of these groupings but also their differing kinds and how the place of Sir Isumbras in them helps clarify the debate over homiletic romance. In the course of pursuing this discussion, it will be useful to keep in mind that Maldwyn Mills outlines two noticeably distinct versions of SI in the four versions he deals with, one found in Lincoln Cathedral MS 91, Adv. 19.3.1, and Ashmole 61 (Mills's T, E, and A), and the other in Cotton Caligula A.ii (Mills's L) which he presents as a complete text.26 I call the versions LAA (including Lincoln, Adv. 19.3.1, and Ashmole 61) and Cotton Caligula A.ii respectively. The opening description of Isumbras in the LAA group of texts particularly emphasizes his strength and fairness: I wyll yow tell of a knyght That was bothe harde and wyghth, And duxti in every dede ... He was mycull mon and stronge, With schulders brode and armus longe, That semely was to se;

brave

57 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I So was he bothe fayr and fre That all hym loved that hym se, So fayr a mon was he. (Adv. 19.3.1)

The opening of Cotton Caligula A.ii instead emphasizes Isumbras's courtesy, mentioning it six times in fifteen lines. This difference in emphasis occurs again after Isumbras has completed his penance and has come under the benevolence of a fair queen (who is, unknown to either, his wife), resulting in the envy of her pagan retainers: in Cotton Caligula A.ii Isumbras competes against them in jousts, but in LAA his trait of brute strength reappears as he beats all comers at the shotput as well. The LAA version also includes an extended amplication of the suffering and grief of Isumbras and his family. One extra stanza found in LAA will suffice as an example: The knyghte mase dole and sorowe ynoghe; Nerehand he hymselven sloghe, Are he come to the banke. And the lady grett and gafe hir ill; Nowther of tham myghte other still, Thaire sorowe it was full ranke. Thay sayd alias that thay were borne: "Felle werdes es layde us byforne, That are were wele and wlanke." The knyghte bad scho sulde be still And gladly suffir Goddes will: "Us awe hym alle to thanke." (Lincoln)

ill fate

For its part, Cotton Caligula A.ii includes a stanza not found in the others (lines 325-36) in which Isumbras's wife, about to be carried off by Saracens, bemoans her separation from her husband and enjoins him to seek her in whatever foreign land she is taken to; she predicts that Isumbras will end his woe by slaying the heathen king and taking the throne. So in comparison, LAA extends description of the pathetic plight of Isumbras and his family while Cotton Caligula A.ii expands on the relationship of Isumbras and his wife, not without a touch of "Christian vengeance." The content of LAA is noticeably more violent than that of Cotton Caligula A.ii.27 In the jousts mentioned above after the beginning of

58 Rereading Middle English Romance

Isumbras's turn in fortunes, the LAA version adds the following details: And some he keste into a slake That bothe braste neke and bakke, And many flede for drede. (Lincoln)

ravine

The pagans' plans for Isumbras after their intended victory over him in battle, moreover, include hanging and burning, and emphasis is placed on their superior numbers. Only Cotton Caligula A.ii contains material on the rediscovery of the ring that was secretly split in two at Isumbras's separation from his wife. When Isumbras as palmer is brought by suspicious courtiers before the queen and tells his sad history, the queen asks if a token was exchanged between his wife and him before they were separated; at her request Isumbras hands her the ring and she produces the other half from a purse: She layde togydur the partyes tweyne, Hole it wax, the sothe to seyne, Ryghte amonge hem alle. "Blessed be God of his swete grace, Nowe have I my lord, syr Isumbras, Here all in myn halle." The lady that was so fayre of face, Swonedde thryes in that place, For fayne she hadde her lorde bolde.28

Again, Cotton Caligula A.ii favours an extended portrayal of Isumbras's relationship with his wife, here in their dramatic reunion. Coupled with Isumbras's opening description as emphatically courteous, we can say (using Mills's terms for romance elements) that there is a heightened "chivalrous" portrayal of Isumbras in Cotton Caligula A.ii, in contrast with an increased "heroic" emphasis in LAA on Isumbras's brute strength and on the violence of his interactions with his enemies. The LAA version also markedly amplifies the pathos of Isumbras's and his family's sufferings. With these broad differences in mind, I begin discussing manuscripts in the "Isumbras-group" with a focus on two collections that exhibit a relatively high degree of generic grouping of romances: the Lincoln "Thornton" MS and CUL MS Ff.2.38.

59 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I Sir Isumbras in Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 The grouping of items in the Lincoln "Thornton" MS (hereafter Lincoln), a paper manuscript of North Yorkshire provenance and dated 143O-4O,29 has attracted considerable scholarly attention. For example, the broad grouping of pieces in the manuscript into romance, religious, and medical "books" has often been mentioned.30 In his article on the religious section of the manuscript, moreover, George Keiser discusses other examples of Thornton's groupings including his scattering of lyrics as "contrast and relief to the longer prose works," as well as his compiling (or inheriting from exemplars) collected works by or associated with Rolle (ff. i92-6v) and Hilton (ff. 223~3ov).31 The romance book earlier in the collection shares some of this evident impulse to distinction among items, for all its relative, and, judging by scholarly discussion, problematic homogeneity. That the romance section is bounded by works about the Worthies and associates - Alexander (item i) and Arthur and Gawain (item 4), Arthur, Guinevere, and Gawain (item 14), and Perceval (item 15) - is clear enough;32 and all pieces from the Morte Arthure to Perceval are in verse. For John Thompson, the intrusion of a saint's life (item 8), a miracle of the Virgin (item 11), a satire against friars' lechery (item 12), and a set of political prophecies (item 13) indicates the strain of production problems, which necessitate a folded quire, and the rupture of Thornton's generic grouping.33 For others, the uncertain borders of "romance" and "saint's life" and the possible consonance of these apparently dissonant items minimize the problem.34 To this scholarly debate I would add the following. Folded quire or no,35 Lincoln's decoration indicates significant delineation, or at least an effort to salvage some order, in the arrangement of the romance section (see Illustration 2 for the opening of item 6, Sir Isumbras). First, the visual continuity of large, usually red initials from items 4 to 15, with none beyond until the beginning of Lincoln's religious section, gives the larger group the appearance of integrity; so does the double-column format from items 5 to 13 (with the exception of a necessary lapse into a single column in item 12, Lyarde36). Differences in decoration may be even more significant, moreover. Items 5 (Octaviari) and 6 (Sir Isumbras) lack the usually rubricated display script present at heads or tails of surrounding items; the pair of texts are thus visually framed by items 4 and 7. Octavian also lacks an explicit, so Sir Isumbras follows with even less of a break. Rubricated head and tail display script becomes markedly more pronounced at item 8, the Vita Sancti Christofori. Then such

60 Rereading Middle English Romance display script is minimal or absent until a resurgence of display script at the head of item 14, which marks the return of Arthurian romance material after what some call the generic jumble of items 11 to 13. Two other sets of details underline the possibility that decoration may have been used for generic delineation. First, there is the distribution of incipits. All Lincoln romances, except for Sir Degrevant (item 9), have incipits: items 4-7,10, and 14-15. None of the other nonromance items have incipits, except for item 8 with its unusual, markedly rubricated incipit. Secondly, while all texts from item 4 to item 15 have titles, items 4, 5, 6, 7,10,14, and 15 - i.e., all the romances except Degrevant - have titles within incipits, whereas the nonromance items have freestanding titles. These distributions of incipits, titles, explicits, and decoration might duplicate those of Thornton's exemplars, but we do not know this for certain. What is nonetheless evident is that the occurrences of decoration and layout I have mentioned in effect delineate the problematic structure of Lincoln's romance book: romances and other items are arrayed differently enough to be distinguishable from one another. This delineation lends decorative emphasis to a contiguous trio from the Iswmbras-group: Octavian, Sir Isumbras, and The Earl of Toulous. The Northern Octavian amplifies the exemplary pious patience of the Constance-like empress in relation to both the Southern version (extant in Cotton Caligula A.ii) and the French source, emphasizing "her reversal of fortune, the pathos of her situation, and her pious resignation to the will of God." Three times she prays to God: at her false condemnation for adultery, abandonment in the forest, and loss of both children, who were carried off by wild animals.37 This presentation of such a heroine is consonant with the Eustace-like Isumbras, embracing penitent suffering - a suffering that, as mentioned above, the Lincoln version (as well as Adv. 19.3.1 and Ashmole 61) amplifies in pathetic detail. Like the Empress, Isumbras is separated from spouse and child/children, yet reunited with them in a final triumph over pagan armies. The Earl of Toulous adds another maligned empress to Octavian's, and this new empress's chaste patience and that of her chaste lover-at-a-distance, the Earl Barnard, moves the moral-exemplary thrust of the group into a more chivalrous ambience. For Robert Reilly, the poem focuses on honour, which is explored in successive structural units of the poem in terms of its related aspects of justice, fidelity, trust, and truth.38 Sir Degrevant has so many similarities in plot to The Earl of Toulous as to suggest the indebtedness of the former to the latter: the initial act of injustice against the hero by his feudal overlord and the defeat

61 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I of the aggressor, with his wife's accompanying objection to his behaviour; the secret visit to a castle (with only one companion and significant ringing of the mass bell) and the ambush upon the hero's departure; the hero's combat and triumph on the lady's behalf, a woman's reconciliation of the conflicting parties, and the hero's subsequent marriage.39 Sir Eglamour shows evidence of familiarity with Sir Degare, Octavian, and Emare, among other works;40 even so hybrid a romance has convincing parallels to the suffering spouses and the separated and reunited families of Octavian and Isumbras. Indeed the similar incipits ("Here bygynnes the Romance of ...") of items 5, 6, and 7 of the Jswrabras-group lend credence to the possibility that Thornton may have copied them, along with item 15, from the same exemplar. Not only do all four romances of the Isumbras-group thus share similar storylines and characters, but in Lincoln they are contiguous, their contiguity highlighted by layout and decoration. Although SI is the most homiletic of its companion exemplary romances, which are only sporadically pious, among them SI appears more "secular" than it does in the other manuscript contexts discussed below. In this sense, the intensification of Isumbras's physical violence in combat against Saracens suits the larger romance context of SI in Lincoln.41 The Isumbras-Group in CUL MS Ff.2.^8 The other manuscript collection that contains members of the Isumbras-group - though not SI itself - and exhibits a similar kind of grouping of items is CUL MS Ff.2-38. This late fifteenth- to early sixteenth-century paper manuscript of Leicestershire provenance was written by one scribe. The manuscript comprises two larger booklets, the second of which begins at f. 161 (the beginning of item 40, Guy of Warwick) and is the only quire not preceded by a catchword.42 In a way reminiscent of the Lincoln MS, Ff.2-38 falls roughly into topical or generic sections; in Frances McSparran's terms, these are meditative and doctrinal items (1-19), edifying religious narratives (items 20-6), more secular exemplary tales (items 27-33), and "secular works of entertainment" (items 34~43).43 Here more so than in Lincoln, though, there is evidence to suggest that some of these groupings derive from exemplars. Because some scholars dismiss evidence of layout and decoration as "merely deriving from an exemplar" and therefore not possibly structurally significant, I wish to look at the case of Ff.2.38 in some detail. Pamela Robinson's comments on the "uniformity" of "a standard layout throughout the book," with no apparent hierarchy of deco-

62 Rereading Middle English Romance rated initials or display script,44 are largely true. One noticeable characteristic of the collection, however, is the pattern of variation in the wording of colophons. For example, items i to 8 end with a "Here endyth a and begynneth b" formula (except for the imperfect ending of item 6); items 9 to 19 drop the explicit and use (with two exceptions) only a "here suen"-plus-title formula or a variant thereof. Then, with one exception and one missing context, the linkage pattern, now worded "Here foloweth" plus title, picks up again until item 28. These zones of wording achieve considerable significance if Ff.2.38 is compared to a few other manuscripts with the «ame clusters of items. Items i to 8 in Ff.2.38 recur as a group in almost the same order in Cambridge, Magdalene College MS Pepys 1584; there are variations in treatment for items 9 and 10, but the two manuscripts include the same contents in the same order, for items 11 to 15. Ff.2.38's items 9-14 and 9-15 recur in different sequences in two other manuscripts (BL Harley 1706 and 2339, respectively); and members of items 27-32 in Ff.2.38 also recur in two further manuscripts (CUL Ff.548 and BL Harley 5396).45 While the recurring clusters of items noted here do indicate that these texts travel together in collections, they also suggest that the groupings in Ff.2-38 in particular might well derive from an exemplar. Could the same apply to the wording of the colophons? A comparison of Ff.2-38 and, again, Pepys 1584 indicates that with only two exceptions, Pepys's first eight items finish with Ff.2.38's "Here endyth a and begynneth b" formula; then items 9 to 15 use equivalents of the "Here suen" formula in Ff.2.38 (i.e. "Here followeth/sueth" or "Thes be" plus title). While the two manuscripts are thought to derive from neither one another nor the same exemplar,46 the parallel evidence further suggests that the peculiar layout, including wording, in opening items and elsewhere in Ff.2.38 may well derive from an exemplar. But this possibility does not render this layout "mere" or insignificant for the structure of Ff.2.38. Whatever the source of the layout, its structural effect in Ff.2-38 is topical: items i to 8 are meditative/penitential pieces, and 9-14, basic doctrinal ones.47 With these reflections in mind, I turn to the last section of the manuscript, the romance section, which contains five members of the Iswmfrras-group: items 34 (Earl of Toulous), 35 (Sir Eglamour), 37 (Octaviari), 38 (Beves of Hampton), and 43 (Sir Degare). Items 34 and 35, the first pair, both finish with the "Here endyth ... and begynnith" linkage formula seen in items i to 8, a formula that here links numbers 34 to 36. The three works fit well together. The Earl of Toulous focuses, as its proem announces, on a heroine who falls into

63 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

mischief, later to recover from her grief, and the poem depicts a refined, chaste, longsuffering love. These preoccupations are consonant with the frame of the plot in Eglamour, the "suitor's tasks" and the "test of chastity,"48 in which the patience of both hero and heroine are sorely tried. Eglamour's lord requires him to do three feats - fetch a hart from a giant, kill a boar, and kill the dragon of Rome, where he remains for a year afterwards while his wounds heal. Meanwhile the lord exiles his daughter, Cristabelle, to sea with her and Eglamour's child; the pair land on a desert island. Much of what follows anticipates the plot of the next item, Sir Triamour, in which Queen Margaret, pregnant with a legitimate son but calumniated by a false steward, is banished to a forest. Eventually, there is an unwitting father/son encounter in combat, and the whole family is finally reunited. Triamour in context is thus a sort of repetitio of the later episodes of Eglamour and is therefore an apt successor to it in the manuscript. After these three linked items, just how layout and decoration bear on grouping of items becomes less clear for a couple of reasons. First, gaps, instead of the usual links in display script, separate the residual items in the collection, with the sole exception of the tail of item 41, where we find "Explicit Le Bone Fflorence of Rome." Secondly, substantial display script normally at the heads of items in Ff.2-38 becomes much less regular. Pamela Robinson suggests that the scribe left these spaces for links that were, except in the one case, never filled in, and that his use of display script is likewise "erratic."49 While these explanations might hold true for Ff.2.38, we may read the evidence in other ways. For example, the final gap after item 36 (Triamour) may be a punctuating space before the next item; there is no need for an "external" explicit since an internal one is already present. The final space after item 38 is partially taken up by a rising decorative ascender on the coloured initial that opens The Seven Sages; and the almost whole column blank following item 39 occurs at the end of the first booklet, before four cancelled leaves. Indeed, the spaces may be part of a change in decorative style. With no links that include titles at the tails of these items, all the spaces provide necessary and adequate separations between these romance items. Unlike the shorter works before item 34 in the manuscript, these romances at the end of the collection, almost three-quarters of its bulk from item 36 on, may not need defining links. Indeed, six out of the eight meetings between the tails of old items and the heads of new ones occur in the middle of columns where a space will do to delineate items - not between the bottom of one folio and the top of a new (items 34-5 and 35-6), where a link in display

64 Rereading Middle English Romance

script is crucial for readers' knowledge of which work they are currently reading. In a similar vein, display script at the heads of items may be not so much deficient as varied, even graduated: initial display script is reduced in item 38 and is absent in item 39; numbers 4OA and 408 have full first lines of it; item 41 has a partial first line, 42, a full line, and 43, a partial.50 Together this evidence suggests for the first booklet of Ff.2.38 that, after a clear grouping of items 34-6, only contiguity with diminishing decoration and small intervening gaps delineate the second pair of members of the Isumbras-group, Octavian and Beves of Hampton, and item 39, The Seven Sages. This contiguity "works" for Octavian, which echoes the patient heroes/heroines, exiled sons, and eventually (and dramatically) reunited families of previous adjacent items. Much of item 38 shifts emphasis to Beves's struggle for justice and to the exiled hero's development of his powers in order to avenge his father's death, recover his heritage, win a bride, and found a dynasty for his sons;51 but the final episodes in particular Beves's later exile, the abduction of his wife, her subsequent long search for Beves, the reunion of their family, and the couple's death in sanctity - are familiar narrative patterns in context. This consonance, in subject matter and plot, of Octavian and Beves with earlier members of the Isumbras-group strengthens the cohesive force of their contiguity in this section of Ff.2.38. Further enhancing these cohesive features, as Maldwyn Mills points out, is a common poetic medium: items 34 to 37 are all in tail-rhyme stanzas, and Beves begins in a similar form of tail-rhyme.52 Why, though, should The Seven Sages of Rome, a work that modern critics seldom regard as a romance,53 come next in Ff.2-38 and last in the first booklet? In seeking an answer to this question, I have found that other manuscript features again provide more convincing grounds for patterns of structure than does the problematic manuscript decoration described above. First, there is the matter of the uniqueness of this particular manuscript version of the Seven Sages. It radically abridges the first eleven stories in the work and expands the last four in relation to other versions. The compiler of Ff.2-38 has also made a "sweeping change" in the order of the stories and has substituted two new stories for the usual ones.54 Perhaps these changes resulted from the compiler's making good, by memory, a defective exemplar for the first eleven tales.55 In any case, one of these changes has structural implications for the placement of Seven Sages (which comes after five romances in Ff.2.38), since the change provides "one very precise link" with Beves, the previous romance. As Mills writes, "Tarricida/

65 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

the seventh of its constituent tales, that is found in no other surviving text, begins with a situation very like that which opens the romance: an older man is treacherously persuaded to engage in a (fatal) boar-hunt by a close relative, on the pretext that the boar's flesh is the only cure for a sickness feigned by the latter (cf. ff. 104™ and i43vb)."56 Second, there is the contiguity of the Seven Sages with five romances at the end of the first booklet and with four romances in the next: Guy-Heraud, Le Bone Florence, Robert of Sicily, and Sir Degare. Before the addition, or existence, of the second booklet of romances, Seven Sages would hardly qualify as a filler at the end of the first booklet, not only because of length (twenty-two folios), but also because of the evident planned (or copied) grouping of like kinds of items across the first booklet. With the addition of the second booklet, Seven Sages appears in the solid company of nine romances (counting Guy and Reinbrun as one), if it is not itself one of them. Finally, the frame narrative of Seven Sages is also structurally significant in its manuscript context. A son is accused by his stepmother of attempting to seduce her and made dumb by enchantment so as to prevent his self-defence. He must await the outcome as fourteen stories are told alternately to accuse and defend him. This plot is obviously harmonious with the accused, ill-treated and/or patient heroes/heroines of previous and subsequent items. While discussion of layout and decoration in the second booklet as it bears on Sir Degare awaits the next chapter,57 the first members of the Isumbras-gToup, items 34, 35, 37, and 38, are contiguous in Ff.2-38 - remarkably so, in comparison with other manuscript collections discussed in this chapter. This contiguity, moreover, is enhanced by spacing and decoration of items and, even more convincingly, by similarities of plot, a noteworthy change in the Seven Sages matter, and a predominance of the tail-rhyme medium. Given the story-type of Triamour, its insertion between the two pairs of items from the Isumbras-group gives the sense of a significantly homogeneous grouping of romances. There is at present, however, no proof of the existence of "common sources"58 from which such groupings might have been derived. BL Egerton 2862 and Sir Isumbras in Bodl. Lib. Douce 261 Having discussed the Lincoln MS and Ff.2-38 above, I turn now to two other manuscripts of the Isumbras-group that also have high concentrations of romances but, in this case, no nonromance items. Egerton 2862, a vellum manuscript from Suffolk dated about

66 Rereading Middle English Romance 1

39°/59 includes three members of the Isumbras-group: Beves, Sir Degare, and Eglamour, but not SI itself. What appears to be more significant about this manuscript is its resemblance in content to the Auchinleck romances: five of its seven items - items i (Richard Coeur de Lion), 2 (Beves of Hampton), 3 (Sir Degare), 4 (Floris and Blauncheflur), and 6 (Amis and Amilouri) - are also in Auchinleck. For this and other reasons, it will be more profitable to reserve full discussion of Egerton 2862, in connection with the Auchinleck Sir Degare, until chapter 4, below.60 The second romance collection, Douce 261, a paper manuscript dated 1564 on f. 48r, was written by "E.B." (f. 25v) in a neat hand that, along with surviving illustrations, is reminiscent of the printed texts from which it derives. The manuscript has no surviving catchwords or signatures.61 Since it is missing opening folios for three out of its four items, data on layout and decoration of beginnings and endings are largely unavailable. In discussing the /swrabras-group in connection with Douce 261, moreover, I refer to a grouping that E.B. almost certainly made from separate printed versions. What, then, might be the reasons for his compiling these texts, as others had compiled some of them in previous manuscripts? Sir Isumbras in Douce 261 is a fragment that breaks off abruptly at the end of Isumbras's stint as a smith, just as he acquires arms and as a battle is to break out between Christians and heathens.63 Few folios of text, then, are available for comparison with the two main versions of SI (Cotton Caligula A.ii and the tradition represented in the Lincoln, Advocates', and Ashmole versions [LAA]). On the one hand, the opening of SI in Douce 261 resembles those in LAA that present a strong and fair rather than courteous Isumbras, but Douce does not have the amplification of the family's suffering present in LAA. On the other hand, Douce 261 reproduces the passage in Cotton Caligula A.ii wherein Isumbras's wife gives him the ring and requires him to seek her out in vengeance and in order to become king of the pagans' lands. Bras well mentions a more religious pointing of SI in Douce 261. An angel, not a bird, speaks to Isumbras, confronting him with the need for penance;64 this angel gives Isumbras no choice, but prophesies the family's immediate suffering. Taken together, these extant variants resemble a combination of Mills's two versions, but the Douce fragment does not provide enough scope for more persuasive generalization. The other three romances in Douce 261 are The Treatyse of Syr Degore, The Jeaste of Syr Gawayne, and Syr Eglamoure of Artoys. The text of Degare is, generally speaking, an instance of Stokoe's Z version, which has excised the Breton and faery ambience and

67 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I sacrificed the portrait of a developing and motivated Degare for the popular appeal of sensational adventures.65 The Jeaste, surviving uniquely here in manuscript, is also more merely adventurous, described by Barren as "little more than a bar-room anecdote."66 The piece begins imperfectly with a fair damsel in bed with Gawain, who is discovered and challenged by Sir Gylbert, her father. This challenge initiates a series of combats between Gawain and the woman's family members, each vanquished by Gawain, each promising that he will never take up arms against Gawain again. The climactic battle is between the oldest brother in the family, Sir Brandies, and Gawain, who are evenly matched; at the fading of daylight, they agree to fight to the death at their next meeting. Gawain wanders back to Arthur's court on foot, and Brandies beats his sister, who disappears thereafter. The two knights are glad never to meet again. There are plausible resemblances between the first three romances in Douce 261 and Sir Eglamour. The first half of Eglamour, comprising the hero's tests set by the father of his beloved Cristabelle, provides enough matching adventures and sensations for Sir Degare and the Jeaste, but the parallels are very broad. There are more precise parallels in Eglamour to Isumbras and Sir Degare (and indeed derivations in Eglamour from Degare*7): Cristabelle's abandonment at sea and separation from her baby, carried off by a griffin; Degrebelle's unwitting marriage to his mother, their true identities discovered before consummation, and his unwitting combat with his father, Eglamour, before the family's reunion - all of these events correspond to similar ones in the other two romances. So while these three members of the Isumbras-group in Douce 261 fit well together, the Jeaste is consonant with the others AS on the more general level of adventure and family struggle. In Douce 261, then, these works emerge as a loose collection, with more or less specific common ground among them. Douce 261 and Egerton 286269 are therefore anthologies of generically similar texts, what modern readers - and apparently some medieval ones - would call romances. In Douce 261, then, SI takes its place at the beginning of such an anthology. As for the Isumbras-group itself, threesomes occur in each manuscript: SI, Sir Degare, and Eglamour, in Douce, and Beves, Degare, and Eglamour, in Egerton. (The second of these threesomes, with members scattered, also recurs in Ff.2.38.) There is some resemblance between the contents of Douce and Egerton and the groupings of romances in Lincoln and Ff.2.38, but these latter groupings of romances are more cohesive in plot and preoccupation.70 Members

68 Rereading Middle English Romance

of the Isumbras-group in Douce and Egerton are associated in a twoplus-one pattern: two items are contiguous with one elsewhere in each collection. But the provenance of Douce 261 from printed versions and the large gap between its date and Egerton's discourage the conclusion that Degare and Eglamour travelled as a pair from one manuscript to the other; and the imperfect states of the two manuscripts remind us of our ignorance of possible other contents. The manuscripts nevertheless remain two more examples of, at very least, a similar taste in compiling members of the Isumbras-group. Sir Isumbras in Gonville and Caius College MS 175/96

The Gonville version of SI is a mixture of the Lincoln/Advocates'/ Ashmole (LAA) and Cotton Caligula A.ii versions, all of which are later texts than Gonville and Caius 175/96. On the one hand, Gonville shares with LAA the opening emphasis on the strength and fairness of Isumbras, as well as the absence of the chivalrous reunion of Isumbras and his wife by way of the ring-token. On the other hand, Gonville and Caius 175/96 lacks Adv. 19.3.1's heroic embellishments of Isumbras's first battle with the pagans and has only some of the amplification found in LAA of the suffering of Isumbras and his family, though it has much of the violent detail of LAA in its representation of the combats of Isumbras and his pagan opponents. Unfortunately, because of a missing folio, Gonville and Caius 175/96 lacks a passage that would correspond to lines 41-178 in Mills's edition of Cotton Caligula A.ii, the section of narrative from the imposition of Isumbras's penance to the stealing of his first son. Thus comparison of Gonville and Caius 175/96 with other versions remains imcomplete. Even so, the Gonville SI leans significantly towards the more epic version of the poem in LAA. Gonville and Caius 175/96 is a vellum manuscript of Lincolnshire provenance, dated about 1400 and ending imperfectly.71 In contrast with the relatively distinct groupings of romances and other items in Lincoln and Ff.2-38, a search for obvious groupings of texts according to decoration and layout of this manuscript is only minimally successful. Initial use of red decoration on the incipits and explicits of the first three items stops after the head of item 4 and does not reappear until the incipits of items 6 and 7. Topically, items i to 3 do share a homiletic ambience, especially since the story of Richard I is termed a "vita," a term usually applied to saints' lives, in its incipit; and Isumbras's Job-like career - with his loss of wife, children, and wealth, and their restoration only after his suffering - qualifies him

69 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I as a kind of saint-in-armor, whose story is adjacent to Saint {Catherine's in the manuscript. Indeed, SI closes with "Explicit sanctus ysumbras."72 But a closer look at decoration as well as at the visual contiguity of the items in the manuscript radically qualifies such pattern hunting. By and large decoration and layout, rather than merely delineating groups of items, exhibit in their recurring features a coincidence of constants (see Illustration 3). There are no links or blank spaces between items; no changes in scribe, or simultaneous changes in item and quire; and all items except item 5 have incipits, which in two cases begin on the same line as the preceding explicits. Furthermore, for six of the seven surviving items in the collection (item 7 is imperfect after its first page), there is a curious balancing of kinds of explicits, titles, and final prayers, three features thought to add a finalizing or delineating effect between items in collections. The two items with no explicits (4 and 6) do not therefore merge but finish with long prayers and "Amen"; item 4, in fact, has a second enlarged "Amen." All three items with mere explicits and no titles (i, 3, and 5) finish with long prayers, two of which include "Amen." The other item (2), which finishes decidedly with an explicit-cum-title, has a longish prayer but not an "Amen." There are no cases in Gonville and Caius 175/96, then, of title, explicit including title, and long prayer plus "Amen" occurring in a single item. This combination of balancing effects in items across the collection is found in no other manuscript in the database. The wording of the closings in this manuscript thus indicates that items in the collection, although written continuously, neither merge nor become too distinct. The sense that "reading in context" is appropriate for the Gonville Sir Isumbras - suggested by the wording of heads and tails of pieces in the collection and clinched by their visual contiguity - not only places the poem in its immediate hagiographic field (with items i and 3) but also links it to the other pieces in Gonville and Caius 175/96. Sir Isumbras does not get lost as an item, but it nonetheless recedes into the composite context of the manuscript. The same may be said for the other member of the Jswmbras-group in the manuscript, Beves of Hampton; its contiguity with Athelston also suggests a common theme, that of righting unlawful wrongs committed in an English past. Sir Isumbras in BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii Cotton Caligula A.ii is a paper MS of Southeast or Southeast Midlands provenance. Dated 1446-60, it was written by one main scribe,

jo Rereading Middle English Romance and ends imperfectly. Like Gonville and Caius 175/96, this manuscript presents for analysis the problem of uniform layout and decoration, as well as the additional problem of destroyed evidence. The leaves of Cotton Caligula A.ii in its present state are mounted singly on paper strips, and there are no signatures or catchwords; so its collation and thereby possible booklet structure is no longer discernible.73 The layout of the manuscript is rather neat and has a uniform appearance. There are running titles, and virtually all items start in new columns, if not on new pages, even if unused space at the tails of items precedes explicits at the bottoms of columns. There is no marked hierarchy of enlarged initials at the heads of items; indeed, one- and two-line initials with red or yellow wash, or no enlarged initial at all, are the rule. What interrupts this uniformity is the incidence of zones of decoration - of red, and red or yellow wash at heads and tails of items and always on all first letters of lines of verse (except for item 3, which was added later). These zones of decoration may define, by their visual continuity, composite blocks of items in Cotton Caligula A.ii. One such zone of yellow wash begins at two penitential narratives, numbers 30 (Owayne myles) and 31 (Tundale),74 each of which depicts a knight who has "lurid visions of the next world" for the good of his soul.75 Two short religious pieces follow; the second one is also penitential, as is evident from its opening stanza: In my yowthe full wylde y was, Myself that tyme kowthe I not knowe; I wolde have my wyll in every place, And that hath browghte me now full lowe. Thenke, Jhesu, I am thyn owne; For me were thy sythes bloe: To chastyse me thou dydest hit, I trowe; I wyte myself myne owene woo.76

sides blue

After some chronicle entries, three romances follow: The Siege of Jerusalem, Chevalere Assigne, and Sir Isumbras. The first combines the edifying and the heroic; it opens with a graphic description of the Crucifixion, then recounts the miraculous healing of Titus and Vespasian and their subsequent sack of Jerusalem, their revenge on the Jews for crucifying Jesus. Chevalere Assigne shares this homiletic ambience, with its opening and closing that indicate the romance is an exemplum of God's help to the wronged - in this case, a queen and her children under the sway of an evil mother-in-law. The work's Perceval-like hero, Enyas, succeeds through repeated divine

/i Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I intervention rather than superior prowess; indeed, an adder and fire from the Cross on his shield blind his knightly adversary before Enyas dispatches him and rescues his mother and siblings. The romance is an excerpt one-sixth the length of its French original describing the adventurous ancestors of Godfrey of Bouillon, one of the Nine Worthies; its juxtaposition with The Siege of Jerusalem may occur, as Robinson suggests, by virtue of medieval associations of the sieges of Jerusalem and Thebes with the Nine Worthies.77 At the end of this decorated block, serving as another religious exemplum to follow that of the swan-knight's, Sir Isumbras fits quite aptly. Perhaps paradoxically for such an edifying context, Cotton Caligula A.ii's version, as we have seen, has chivalrous touches, particularly in its proem and later in the distinctive episode concerning the ring-token by which Isumbras and his wife are reunited. But since Cotton Caligula A.ii lacks the heroic/violent amplifications found in Lincoln/Advocates'/Ashmole, its dominant emphasis is on balance more edifying than that in LAA, a characteristic that is wellsuited to its manuscript context. The next two items in Cotton Caligula A.ii, the first penitential on Christ's wounds, have parallel titles - Quinque wlnera and Quinque Gaudia - and are decorated with red. The decoration at heads and tails changes to yellow for the last two saints' lives; the second (Eustache), as earlier discussed, closely resembles Sir Isumbras. The succeeding two blank folios (140 and 141) are, according to Robinson, part of a new booklet/8 In Cotton Caligula A.ii, then, Sir Isumbras is clearly grouped with two other homiletic romances at the end of a markedly penitential block of items. In fact, these last three zones of items - penitentials, including the three romances, the "fives" pair, and saints' lives resemble the kind of distinct generic grouping present in the Lincoln MS and Ff.2-38. This resemblance does not hold, however, for the proximity of members of the Isumbras-group in Cotton Caligula A.ii. Besides Sir Isumbras, the three other members of the Isumbras-gioup are somewhat dispersed earlier in Cotton Caligula A.ii, with Sir Eglamour placed as the second item in the collection, and Octavian and Libeaus Desconus straddling Launfal as items 7 to 9. These three last works are possibly compiled by virtue of common authorship. Launfal mentions Thomas Chestre explicitly at its closing at the bottom of the first column of f. 42v; Libeaus, which follows, begins at the top of the second column, and is the only long item in the manuscript to start on a b-column of a folio.79 This layout suggests that the sequence of the three romances in Cotton Caligula A.ii is inherited from its exemplar, even from Chestre's original.80 The occurrence of members of the Isumbras-group in something like a

72 Rereading Middle English Romance pair and two singletons in Cotton Caligula thus does not resemble tighter groupings of Isumbras-group romances in the Lincoln MS and Ff.2.38.81 Sir Isumbras in Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 As was the case for Cotton Caligula A.ii, so the question of associated items arises for Ashmole 61, a late fifteenth-/early sixteenthcentury paper manuscript of Leicestershire provenance, written in agenda format, with irregular catchwords and no signatures.82 Ashmole 61, like Cotton Caligula A.ii, has a largely uniform appearance: there are no links, almost no explicits or blank spaces between items, and mostly small initials with no evident hierarchy. Sir Isumbras opens at the point of the only coincidence of a change of quire and the beginning of a new item in the manuscript; Isumbras is also at the beginning of contemporary foliation, which is numbered, possibly in the scribe Rate's. hand, 1-91, 91-150, and 160-2. It is therefore possible that ff. 1-8 (according to the modern foliation that includes items 1-4) were added after the assembly of the rest of the manuscript that begins with Isumbras.83 What is curious about the decoration and layout of so uniform a manuscript is the number of coincidences, or sometimes alternations, of fish and flower illustrations and Rate's signature (accompanied by "Amen") at the tails of items (see Illustration 4). Of particular interest is that here and elsewhere in the manuscript the scribe's name and/or illustrations may have been used to bind by visual continuity, and even give a personal stamp84 to, what otherwise would appear to be an undifferentiated sequence of items. Scribes' names do, of course, appear in three other manuscripts in the database: occasionally in Add. 31042 and Lincoln, and usually at the end of booklets in Advocates' 19.3.1. But in Ashmole 61, a manuscript of forty-two items, Rate's name occurs at the end of twenty items, and illustrations, also at the end of twenty items. In eleven cases name and illustration coincide, and six of these coincidences surround Sir Isumbras.85 This zone of coincidental illustrations and scribe's name, which includes items 3-8, is worthy of attention, particularly since these features occur at the point where it appears that Rate has probably added another gathering to precede SI, the original opening item in the collection. Completing this new opening gathering are two parallel courtesy items in which a father instructs young men and a wife instructs young women to attend mass, give tithes and alms, as well as be good husbands (i.e., don't chide your wife) and good wives (i.e., be an industrious housewife, and don't laugh too much

73 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I or gape in public). Then appear Sir Isumbras and a versified ten commandments, the latter containing one opening stanza, apparently added by Rate, along with three final ones86 on how the commandments help us move heavenward out of sin. Two further courtesy items, which combine piety and courtesy as did items 3 and 4, follow Sir Isumbras. A long, six-stanza prologue to item 7 (Lydgate's Stans Puer Ad Mensani), also apparently added by Rate,87 announces its double aim of teaching children to flee vice and to follow courtesy; repeated variations of "For that is no curtasy" or "For that is grete curtasy" follow successive injunctions, and honouring one's parents is termed a statute of courtesy. Item 8, consisting of moral instruction from Dame Curtasy, continues this dual approach by asserting that courtesy came from heaven with the angel Gabriel's salute to Mary, and "All vertus be clothyd in curtasy,/ And all vyces in vilony." Rate's gathering and reworking of these items results in a manuscript context evidently oriented to young readers/listeners, with a "children's corner" at the opening of the manuscript.88 This group of items contains all the courtesy items in the collection; their blending of etiquette and religion makes them an apt frame for Sir Isumbras and The Ten Commandments. Though one of the LAA versions of SI, which amplify the suffering of the hero and his family and the heroic character of his later combats, Ashmole 61 includes a few noteworthy individual differences. Robinson indicates that Rate adds or alters a further dozen lines that amplify Isumbras's and his wife's grief at their forced parting. Rate excludes the additional violent detail present in Lincoln and Adv. 19.3.1 that Isumbras will slay those who resist baptism after his victory over the pagans. Uniquely in Ashmole 61 it is an angel (not a unicorn) which carries off Isumbras's youngest son, and an angel which removes his treasure.89 These details render Rate's version noticeably more oriented to the suffering of Isumbras and his wife and to the explicitly religious, changes suited to the family and religious context of SI in Ashmole 61.90 As for members of the Zswmbras-group beyond Isumbras itself, the pairing of The Earl of Toulous and Libeaus Desconus among mostly religious tales is a noteworthy instance of contiguity, albeit a minor one in comparison with larger clusters of the group in other manuscripts. Sir Isumbras in NLS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 In my attempt to distinguish between tighter and looser manuscript groupings of romances and other items, I have found it useful to

74 Rereading Middle English Romance look closely at Advocates' 19.3.1. This paper manuscript, dated about 1480 and of Yorkshire West Riding provenance, has aspects of both kinds of structural shaping. There are three romances in Adv. 19.3.1: Sir Gowther, Sir Amadace, and only one member of the Isumbras-group, SI itself.91 Philippa Hardman's excellent article on Adv. 19.3.1 argues persuasively that its Isumbras booklet is one of three that have a romance-courtesy item(s) pattern, and that this kind of booklet occurs in a larger collection with two other kinds: the thematic anthology, and the volume of "favourite religious narratives" - constituting in all, a "library in parvo."92 My examination of layout and decoration in the manuscript by and large confirms her conclusions, which suggest a high degree of generic sensibility on the part of the main scribe, Heege, whose hand appears in every booklet.93 In another article, Hardman argues that the latter part of the manuscript (quires 7 to 13), including the Vision of Tundale, Lychefelde's Complaint of God, and books 4 to 6 of Lydgate's Lyfe of Oure Lady, was probably bound together with the first part of the manuscript by the Advocates' Library in the early nineteenth century.94 This probability - that in at least one instance the combining of booklets is modern - makes all the more important one aspect of the manuscript that Ian Cunningham has suggested deserves even more attention than Hardman has given it:95 the almost contemporary foliation from item i well into item 6, "The Marriage of St Katherine," in the third booklet (see Illustration $).96 The numbering of these folios is near-contemporary evidence, not only of an early association of the first three booklets in the present order, but also of what kinds of items an early compiler/reader associated in this sequence. The sequence (items 1-3) moves from some villagers' comically botched hare hunt, through a mock sermon, to some nonsense verse that burlesques romance and chronicle heroes.97 In the next booklet, the story of Sir Gowther's repentant career (from son of a devil to vanquisher of pagans, wedded knight, and saintly ruler) precedes a courtesy item (5), Stans Puer ad Mensam,98 and (in the next booklet) the first half of a saint's life - the conversion and mystical marriage, but not the martyrdom and canonization, of St {Catherine.99 This arrangement of items in sequence by means of numbering is much looser than what Hardman sees as the parallel organization of individual booklets. The arrangement, in fact, binds together an instance of each kind of Hardman's booklets - the thematic (in this case nonsense) anthology, the romance booklet, and the religious work/extract - into a sequence of, apparently, selfconscious literary units.

75 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

Hardman argues that, after this foliation, the associated items of the next quire are plagued by production problems. This booklet was meant to resemble the other two romance-courtesy item booklets in the manuscript (ff. 11-29 and 68-86), but in copying Sir Isumbras, Heege placed tail-lines to the right of couplets rather than below them, as they appear in his other two romances, thereby copying more lines to a page and using fewer leaves than he managed for the others. So, after SI and "The Masse," ten folios remained blank not according to plan, Hardman argues; and variation in size and colour of the hand, as well as numerous blanks, give what is, for Heege, the unusual haphazard impression of fillers.100 Further examination of the booklet, however, leads me to qualify Hardman's view. SI opens with a four-line initial, touched with red and with black internal flourishes, and closes with "Explicit q[uod] Heeg," partly touched with red and partly rubricated. The version of SI in Adv. 19.3.1, as previously discussed, shares with the Lincoln MS and Ashmole 61 an accentuated pathetic and heroic ambience. Adv. 19.3.1, moreover, has its own, even more extensive heroic amplification, as Maldwyn Mills elaborates;101 in this version, Isumbras longer stands unhurt and unassisted in the battle with the heathens, who quake in great dread of him; additional passages of prayer, invective, and description of battle emphasize the conflict and Isumbras's antipathy to the Sultan in particular. Next comes "The Masse," about one-third of a lay mass-book that was planned, Hardman argues, to fill what would have been the last two folios following SI in the booklet, had the romance been copied in a layout similar to that of the other romances.102 This item is about the etiquette of participating in the mass, including when and how to pray (with sample prayers included) and what to do if you can read (and if you can't), for example.103 The piece does break off rather abruptly104 with a brief prayer, amen, and "explicit." Item 9 is a macaronic Christmas carol in English and Latin about the Annunciation, angelsong at Jesus's birth, and the Epiphany; the verso for this item is over three-quarters blank. Item 10 is nonsense verse about a mass whose participants are mostly fish and about a barbecue enjoyed by animals, birds, and fish to some unusual musical accompaniment: Tho sow sate on hye benke, and harpyd Robyn-Howde; Tho fox fydylyd, tho ratton rybybyd, tho larke noty with all; Tho hombull-be hondyld tho horne-pype, for hur fyngurs were small.

j6 Rereading Middle English Romance The piece closes with a prayer (of sorts): Yf all thees be trwe that bene in this tale, God as he madde hus, mend hus he mey, Save hus and sende hus sum drynke for this dey.105

"Explicit," Heege's signature, and a blank recto (f. 61) - except for scraps of script - follow. In spite of an intervening, almost blank verso (f. 59), these three items (8 to 10) fit well together, albeit with a change in tone for item 10; they form a subgrouping, accentuated by a scribal signature and blank folio. In other quires, Heege signs only at the end of booklets (items 5, 6,18, 20, and 30) and the other scribe who names himself, John Hawghton, does likewise (items 27, 28, and 38).lo6 The exceptions for Heege are both in this quire: at the end of SI and item 10, the nonsense poem.107 If these extra scribal signatures are successive and revised indications that Heege thought to finish his stint, first after SI, then after the three religious items, before going on to fill remaining leaves, then he may not have originally planned, as Hardman argues, to have a booklet comprised of a romance plus a courtesy item. Next in the Isumbras booklet come three brief moralizing fillers (items 11-13), all on f. 61 v: a single stanza from Lydgate's Fall of Princes, and two brief sets of proverbs. Only the first has a title, "Deceyte," and a two-line rubricated initial; none has an explicit. The items are written continuously; their visual appearance as one item does not belie their uniformity of content and even style. Item 11 is a witty play on the deceipt of deceipt, which shall be requited with its own kind; item 12 urges the reader to hold the tongue in patience, since the world is so unstable; and item 13 again wittily warns against waste that leads to want in time of need and against meddling. Two courtesy items on the terms of carving and hunting, both in prose, follow. The first has a title, "A tryppe off Deere," in enlarged script and beginning with a two-line "A" touched with red; the text begins on the same line as the title. The second item also has a twoline initial touched with red. The context of these two items, paired by their common matter, is marked with signs of haphazard arrangement: item 14 is accompanied by pen trials, "A" and "A tryppe off," at the bottoms of 6iv and 62r, and a blank verso (except for scraps of script) precedes item 15. Accompanying this haphazard appearance, however, are signs of order: the pairing of these two courtesy items and a delineating, four-line red initial, as large as the one at the beginning of SI, that opens the next item in Heege's hand.

77 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

Item 16 is a hymn of praise to the Blessed Virgin, Aue regina coelorum, followed by That pes mey stand, a prayer and plea to readers for national unity108 that also mentions Mary in its first line, and concludes with almost a whole stanza of prayer to her that loyalty and grace may rest upon England. Besides their common religious ambience, this pair also shares the most ornate tail display script since the closing of SI. The final refrain of item 17 is touched with red, and item 18 finishes with "Explicit quod Heege [touched with red] Amen Amen [in faded rubrication]." So in the Isumbras booklet two conflicting sorts of evidence coexist. On the one hand, there is plausible evidence for what Hardman argues is a failed repetitio of the second and fifth booklets according to a romance-courtesy item pattern: particularly, blank folios and stints by Heege apparently separated in time. On the other hand, there appears to be a plausible ordering of items according to subject matter and decoration: first, SI, then three religious items that play on worship in different keys and genres (advice, hymn, and nonsense); three brief items of practical wisdom; two courtesy items regarding game; and finally, two prayers - one of adoration, and one of petition. I think that both these sets of evidence are true. The present state of the booklet is the result of patchwork done over time to fill up blank folios, but the booklet also exhibits an arrangement that is more orderly than its appearance might suggest. Furthermore, the arrangement of the Isumbras booklet as it apparently evolved is reminiscent of the associations suggested by near-contemporary numbering of the preceding first forty folios. The kinds of these opening items have their parallels in the Isumbras booklet, as Table 6 indicates. These associations, both those made by numbering and those found in the Isumbras booklet, present a noticeably organized generic range in two ways. First, they mirror, albeit in a more dispersed way, the generic sensibility of the other individual booklets in Adv. 19.3.1. Second, as protracted structures, they also extend the generic scope of individual booklets compositely in two ways: they include more units than the number of booklets would indicate (three individual units/booklets in folios 1-40, and five subunits in the Isumbras booklet); and these combined units are more varied in their contents than are those of any other one booklet. The relevance of these relatively sophisticated contexts for SI is multiple. The romance not only appears in what is perhaps an intended romance-courtesy booklet, in which both SI and "The Masse" share religious preoccupations, but is also situated in composite generic fields. It functions both in its own booklet and in

78 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 6 Generic Parallels between the First 40 Folios and the Isumbras Booklet in NLS MS Advocates' 19.3.1 Parallel

First 40 Folios

Isumbras Booklet

Nonsense Romance Courtesy Religion

First booklet Item 4, Sir Gowther Item 5, Stans Puer Item 6, St Katherine

Item 10, nonsense verse Item 7, Sir Isumbras Items 8, The Masse, and 14, 15, on hunting Items 9, nativity carol, 17, hymn to the Virgin, and 18, prayer for peace

resonance with those preceding it, those bound by contemporary foliation (nonsense, romance-courtesy item, and religious extract). These fields distinguish, array, and combine the edifying, heroic, and chivalrous, just as SI itself combines them. Thus in a whole manuscript that, as noted, may be largely a modern compilation, the presence of contemporary foliation is important in that it offers one concrete answer to this question: Which booklets might a contemporary compiler/reader have envisaged together, and in what sequence? The ordering, sometimes roughly realized, of the Isumbras booklet also provides one important answer to another question: How, and with what success, does a compiler shape a booklet when he has many extra leaves on his hands? CONCLUSION The three main kinds of manuscripts of the Jswmbras-group, according to my analysis, will become clear from Table 7.1 call these kinds of manuscripts "cluster," "group," and "aggregate," with two hybrid subclassifications, as follows. Bearing in mind my caveat above regarding coincidental and fragmentary evidence, the "cluster" category includes Egerton 2862 and Douce 261, which exclusively contain romances that are collected together, but not in clear subgroups according to story types/matters. Each manuscript has a two-plus-one arrangement of members of the Isumbras-group such that two members are contiguous and one appears elsewhere. For each manuscript as it survives, the number in its Isumbras-group represents a high proportion of the total number of romances in the collection: three out of seven for Egerton, and three out of four for Douce.109 In the "group" category are the Lincoln MS and Ff.2-38, each of which groups romances in one of its sections. These manuscripts also exhibit a high degree of subgrouping of romances according to story types/matters and a high degree of contiguity of members of

79 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I Table 7 Kinds of Manuscripts of the "Isumbras-Group" Grouping of Items

Subgrouping of Romances

Contiguity of Members of si-Group

Douce

All roms

No

2 +1

Egerton

All roms

No

2 +1

Lincoln

High

Yes

3 +1

Ff.2.38

High

Yes

2()2-

Low Low

Some Some

1 +1 1+2

Yes

1+

Category and MSS

Context of si

CLUSTER

Opener in anthology

GROUP

Constance/ Eustace group

AGGREGATE

Gonville Ashmole

Saints' lives Courtesy unit

AGGREGATE-GROUP

Cotton Caligula

Partial

+1

With religious romances

GROUP-AGGREGATE

Adv. 19.3.1

Subject to booklets

No

Romance and courtesy, etc., booklets

the Iswmbras-group: three plus one elsewhere in Lincoln, and two groups of two, with only Triamour intervening, plus one elsewhere, in Ff.2.38. In these regards, the similar high degree of grouping in Lincoln and Ff.2.38 coexists with, and is not negated by, contrasting details about the two manuscripts. These are the apparent careful planning exhibited in the largely uniform layout and decoration of Ff.2-38, and the apparently more haphazard production noted in the Lincoln MS.110 The "aggregate" category includes Gonville and Caius 175/96 and Ashmole 61, with their only minimal subgrouping of romances (which are rather dispersed among items of other genres). Members of the Isumbras-group here are about as contiguous as they are in manuscripts of the "cluster" category, and are found in one-plus-

8o Rereading Middle English Romance

one (Gonville) and one-plus-two (Ashmole) patterns.111 This classification of the manuscripts does not deny their differences according to other measures. While both manuscripts appear to have been continuously written, the regular appearance of Gonville and Caius 175/96 suggests a careful if not professional production.112 Ashmole 61 appears to be a much more personal production by Rate, somewhat resembling a commonplace book. Its regularity of appearance arises because of the absence of those regular features of Gonville titles, explicits, absence of intervening spaces - often associated with professional production. Two manuscripts are found in hybrid categories. Cotton Caligula A.ii is an "aggregate-group" manuscript - the dominant trait "aggregate" is in first place - since its earlier items appear to be loosely organized,113 while the last eleven items exhibit a noticeably higher degree of subgrouping of items - including romances - according to genre or to the persuasive thrust of subject matter. The generally more dispersed shaping of the manuscript corresponds to its dispersal of members of the Jswmbras-group into four singletons (two of which are separated by a single romance). I consider Adv. 19.3.1 "group-aggregate" since its grouping is not organized according to genre of items but to genre of booklets - such as the romancecourtesy item booklet and the religious anthology booklet. The opening contemporary foliation suggests an "aggregate" of such booklets, a composite of literary units, as does the subgrouping of the literary units within the Isumbras booklet itself. What is also significant about these data is the variety of contexts for Sir Isumbras in the manuscripts. These different compilations of the work suggest the different ways in which it was probably read and the different ways in which we might read the work today. These readings include: • Douce's Isumbras as an opening item in a small anthology of romances. • Lincoln's Isumbras in a Constance/Eustace group of romances, a noticeably less religious setting than others. • Gonville's Isumbras in the immediate company of saints' lives. • Ashmole's Isumbras in a group of courtesy items, where "courtesy" has profound religious implications. • Cotton's Isumbras in a penitential group with two other religious romances. • Advocates' Isumbras in what may have begun as a romancecourtesy booklet, but which became an anthology, sometimes roughly produced, of varied items.

8i Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts I

These differing readings of Isumbras - as romance, particular story type of romance, hagiographic and religious piece, and courtesy piece - directly bear on the nature of the romance in particular and on the question of homiletic romance in general. Not only do the two main versions of the romance point it in heroic directions, on the one hand, and chivalrous ones, on the other; its differing manuscript contexts also suggest that compilers/readers regarded variously what we modern scholars often abstract from manuscript context as "the same work." These varied contexts suggest a range of views of SI, then, that emphasize, more or less, its edifying or heroic/chivalrous facets in context, as illustrated in Table 8. The "Manuscript" line of the table indicates the pertinent versions of SI, and the "Variants," rows chart the direction(s) of variant versions (edifying and/or heroic/chivalrous) according to Mills's two main versions of SI (Lincoln/Advocates'/Ashmole and Cotton Caligula A.ii). The "MS Context" line shows the range of manuscript contexts for SI (listed in the previous paragraph) on the edifying and heroic/ chivalrous poles; so, for example, texts of SI in Gonville, Cotton, and Ashmole all share edifying contexts with contiguous items, but as the arrow indicates, the Gonville context is the most edifying, and the Ashmole, the least. Finally, "Kind of Grouping" positions each of the Isumbras-group manuscripts, including those not containing SI (in brackets), according to structural kinds of manuscripts; so Lincoln and Ff.2-38 have more pronounced group characteristics than does Advocates', for example, and the gathering of like items in cluster manuscripts is so pronounced as to exclude nonromance items altogether. It is interesting that those manuscripts (with their attendant arrangements of members of the Isumbras-group) that tend towards the "aggregate" pole are also those that have the most homiletic contexts on the spectrum for SI. Variants among texts of SI in these manuscripts are not unequivocally more edifying, however, than are others. On the other hand, manuscripts that exhibit more signs of grouping according to kind - and three of these exhibit marked contiguity of members of the Isumbms-group - have, not surprisingly, more heroic/chivalrous contexts for SI, since romances are grouped together. Where enough manuscript variants in SI texts are extant, these variants are also heroic/chivalrous in their effects.114 It is therefore a complex business to speak both of Sz'r Isumbras and of homiletic romance using SI as an example in view of variations in versions and of varying manuscript contexts. To do so requires multiple vision of both the individual romance and the larger subgenre of romance, through which definitions range and

82 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 8 Manuscript Version and Context, and Sir Isumbras as Romance and Homiletic Romance

si in

Manuscript

CON

COT

ASH

ADV

LINIFFIJ

DOUIEGEJ

VARIANTS Edifying Heroic/Chivalrous

V

V V

V V

V

V

V? V?

MS CONTEXT FOR si KIND OF GROUPING

Cluster

Key for further manuscript abbreviations: ADV - Advocates' 19.3.1 EGE - Egerton 2862 ASH - Ashmole 61 FF2 - Ff.2.38 COT - Cotton Caligula A.ii GON - Gonville & Caius 175/96 DOU - Douce 261 LIN - Lincoln MS

shade according to those variants and contexts. This varied weighting of the edifying, heroic, and chivalrous eschews the absolutes of Susan Crane's view of homiletic romance as failed (and anti-) saint's life; the manuscript contexts of SI for Gonville and Caius 175/96 (saints' lives), Cotton Caligula A.ii (penitential group), and Ashmole 61 (courtesy group) are cases in point here. This variety also variously qualifies Laurel Braswell's emphasis on the Christian validity of SI, by allowing that its religion is more or less explicit, depending on version and context. Its religion is less explicit, for example, in the immediate contexts of the Lincoln MS, with its heroic variants and surrounding Constance/Eustace romances, and in Douce 26i's less edifying romances - and more explicit in the immediate context of Adv. 19.3.1, where SI is preceded by Saint Katherine and succeeded by The Masse, carols, and moral proverbs. While it may possibly be a scholarly commonplace that Sir Isumbras and homiletic romance are mixtures of Mills's three elements, it is not so common to look at how that mixture works itself out in the specific details of the different versions and manuscript contexts. It is sometimes useful to think of Sir Isumbras abstractly as a largely religious romance, but a closer look at any one version complicates abstraction with the demand for more detailed accuracy. Thus by looking at the work's multiple versions and manuscript contexts, I have indicated that there are numerous answers, or at least emphases in answers, to the question, What kind of romance is Sir Isumbras?

o

4 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II: Sir Degare, Sir Orfeo, and the Middle English Lay

In this chapter I shall argue that an analysis of manuscript layout and decoration can illuminate another problematic subgenre of Middle English romance, the Middle English lay. Like Sir Isumbras, Sir Degare and Sir Orfeo appear in their different manuscripts with other items, some romances and some not; thus the two lays can also assume clearer and sometimes surprising definition through an examination of their multiple manuscript versions and contexts.

SIR DEGAR£ IN MANUSCRIPT CONTEXT The Two Sir Degares The plot of Sir Degare (SD) is easily recounted. A young man, son of a king's daughter and the faery knight who raped her, is raised apart from his mother in a hermitage. In his subsequent quest for his mother and father, he unwittingly wins his mother's hand in a tournament but discovers her identity before their marriage is consummated. He and his father, also unwittingly, meet in combat, but they are revealed to one another before harm is done. In the course of his quest, Degare has won the affections of a damsel whom he rescues from a tyrant knight in combat. She and Degare are united in marriage, and so are his parents. Degare's career thus "has a dual aspect, which is skilfully brought out by the way the poet links the two subordinate fights (dragon, knight) with the two principal ones (grandfather, father). He is both engaged in a pur-

84 Rereading Middle English Romance poseful quest (for his parent) and aiming at chivalric self-realization through deliberately sought adventure."1 Critics have often noted the Freudian overtones of the story as well as its combination of folktales.2 William C. Stokoe Jr has further argued that it is inaccurate to speak of one text of SD, well preserved in some of its surviving manuscripts but corrupted in others. In fact, he says, a study of the manuscript and early printed versions indicates that two distinct versions exist: one in Auchinleck and Ff.2.38, and another (which he abbreviates as z) in the other versions, including Egerton 2862, Bodl. Lib. MS Rawlinson Poet. 34, and Douce 26i.3 The first major difference is stylistic: Z deliberately changes diction, syntax, and hence versification, changes that include that telltale symptom of inferior or careless redaction, the throwaway rhyme tag. Second, z misses or loses the "climactic presentation of the three combats" found in Auchinleck and Ff.2.38, battles by which Degare advances from dependance on brute strength to skill in jousting. Finally, Z effects "the complete removal of the supernatural background." Gone is the faery rapist, now a mere mortal; and, in what corresponds to the magical castle episode in Auchinleck and Ff.2.38, the "redactor is not presenting the lady as a/ee, the dwarf as a thinly disguised shapeshifter, or the castle as a place of magic." The z version also sensationalizes the story, altering one knight assailant to a giant and expanding Degare's early encounter with a dragon, using an interpolation from Beves of Hampton.4 In all, "Sir Degare in z is no longer a fairy-tale partially rationalized and given a Breton locale; it is an improbable story, weak in motivation, for the hero no longer feels the compulsion of a supernatural father's demands; weak in characterization, for Degare no longer grows in skill and determination as he fights his successive battles; and confused in narration, for the redactor has deliberately omitted, altered, expanded and repeated parts of the story to increase its popular appeal."5 Do the appearances of these two distinct versions of SD in different manuscript contexts further illuminate the nature of the work? In order to answer this question, I wish to look particularly at items in the Auchinleck context of SD, in the order of their appearance: the first three religious items, on, respectively, the seven deadly sins, pater noster, and assumption of the virgin; Sir Degare, The Seven Sages of Rome, Floris and Blauncheflur; and two short final items, "The Sayings of the Four Philosophers" and a list of names of Norman barons. Just as it affected my overall discussion of Auchinleck elsewhere, so the problem of missing evidence will limit discussion of the Auchinleck Degare booklet in particular; a glance at the data

85 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II

list for the Auchinleck in the appendix will confirm6 that many of those features of layout and decoration that interest me are not consistently present. Fortunately, comparison of the arrangement of texts surrounding Degare in Auchinleck with other manuscript contexts for those texts can help fill some of these gaps. Opening Items in the Auchinleck Sir Degare Booklet

The SD booklet (ff. 70-107) in Auchinleck may not be in its original form, since there is a gap in contemporary item numbering in the context of SD that indicates two items are missing. While Pamela Robinson speculates that a prior booklet is missing, Pearsall suggests that the missing item numbers were saved for fillers that were never included at the end of the previous booklet, the last verso of which remains mostly blank.7 Cunningham and Mordkoff support Robinson's suggestion; they note the number "3" at the bottom of the last leaf (f. 84v) of the extant second (and not third) quire of the SD booklet, which would make the hypothetical missing booklet/quire number "i." Since the catchword from the preceding extant booklet "leads correctly" to the succeeding extant SD booklet, "such a quire would have had to have been lost or removed before assembly of the manuscript for binding (if catchwords were in fact used for that purpose), but after the running numbering of articles was done."8 In any case, the contents (if any) of such a possible missing quire remain unknown. The SD booklet opens9 with a piece on the seven deadly sins and a pater noster, both of which are items of basic religious instruction. The first actually includes not only a catalogue of the deadly sins, but also a review of the ten commandments, pater noster, creed, Hail Mary, and passion narrative, each delineated by a brief introduction. The second item breaks down the Lord's Prayer into sections, with English commentary on the Latin; it ends imperfectly.10 Next follows The Assumption of Our Lady, which after its imperfect opening runs for 756 lines.11 The poem arose in the East, probably in the fourth century, and it survives in an early couplet version in six manuscripts, including CUL Ff.2.38 (where it is grouped with saints' legends) and CUL Gg4.27 (part 2). This couplet version also forms a basis for the Auchinleck tail-rhyme version,12 which is an example of what McKnight sees as the poem's circulation in the form of a "romantic story" rather than of the alternative "devout legend." While the content of the Auchinleck version is said to be "substantially that" of the version in Gg4.27(2),13 this is difficult to judge in

86 Rereading Middle English Romance the present two versions. The fragment in Gg4.27(2) opens with Jesus on the cross making John a companion to Mary in her desolation; then an angel appears to Mary with a warning of her assumption in three days and leaves her with a palm branch. Mary then prays and calls her friends to announce her imminent departure, at which point the manuscript breaks off after only 240 lines.14 Auchinleck's missing opening, consisting of, at most, three columns of text (or just over 100 lines), may well have included some of this material. As it stands, though, Auchinleck opens abruptly with a meditation on the significance of the palm branch, then proceeds to Mary's prayer for the "boon" of assumption. The poem goes on to recite in considerable, pathetic detail how Mary faces her death, and describes the accompanying grief of her friends. The narrative is punctuated with divine interventions and ephiphanies of Jesus Christ, such as the blinding of Jews attempting to desecrate Mary's funeral bier and the subsequent conversion of one would-be attacker of her corpse. The conclusion of the poem hinges on the irony that it is Thomas who sees Mary at her assumption and takes the news back to the other disbelieving disciples. The presence of these three items before SD in Auchinleck may well puzzle the reader. In their edition of SD, Schmidt and Jacobs comment on "a streak of piety" concentrated not only in the hero of the poem but also in comments by the narrator. They identify, for example, "a suggestion of divine protection" in the way Degare "successively withstands three spear-thrusts from the formidable king"; indeed, Sir Degare survives the second attack, the narrator tells us, according to God's will (lines 541-2) and the king compares him to Sampson (line 566).15 But the pious element is not predominant, particularly given Stokoe's characterization of the faery and chivalrous Auchinleck version in contrast to the Z version. A Comparison with CUL MS Gg.q.zy (part 2). Further perspective on this juxtaposition of SD and religious items can be gained by comparing the Auchinleck context with another manuscript. The fragmentary CUL MS Gg.4-27 (part 2), which contains Floris and Blauncheflur, King Horn, and Assumption de Nostre Dame, is a single vellum quire of fourteen folios, imperfect at both ends; of Berkshire provenance, the manuscript dates from the early fourteenth century and is written by one scribe.16 In 1600, it was combined by Joseph Holland with CUL MS Gg4.27 (part i), the famous Chaucer manuscript that includes Troilus, The Canterbury Tales, The Legend of Good Women, and The Parliament of Fowls; Holland left his annotation mark on f. 10 of part 2.17 While the opening of Floris and ending of the Assumption

87 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II are missing, the extant layout and decoration is uniform: openings include rubricated titles and four-line blue initials, and endings have some enlarged script and are touched with red. Text is laid out in double columns, and detached initial letters for each line of text are also touched with red. The presence here of the assumption poem with two romances, reminiscent of its place beside Degare in Auchinleck, has invited varied critical response. McKnight sees the three items in Gg4.27(2) as united by "the love of ... romantic colour" and points out that both Assumption of Our Lady and Floris are also in couplets.18 Karl Brunner argues for a kind of unity of the three items based on possible audience: a clerk prepared two French love poems in English, perhaps for ladies in a gentleman's house, and added the assumption poem because of his patron's interest.19 Granting our ignorance of what other items may or may not have formed a larger context for the Cambridge fragment, the contiguity of the three items and their uniform layout and decoration nonetheless provide a precedent for the association of Assumption of Our Lady with romarces.20

A Comparison with CUL MSS Ff.2.j8 and li.^.y.21 The placement of SD in yet another manuscript, CUL Ff.2.38, bears further on the question of its possible religious status. Here a text of SD, with its final folios missing, appears at the end of the manuscript, after Robert of Sicily. This latter work tells of a proud king whose penance is to see an angel in his likeness become king and himself become the king's fool with dogs for companions. When sufficiently humiliated, Robert confesses his pride and asks God for pity, at which point the angel reveals himself and Robert becomes king again. In contrast to Ff.2.38, CUL MS 11.4.9, a fifteenth-century paper collection,22 places Robert between The Abey of the holygoste and Narracio de Sancto Edwardo; major items The Northern Passion and a version of Handlyng Synne, but no romances, are placed elsewhere in the collection. Given such a devotional context, it is surprising that this "text of Robert is also the most compressed of the full version running to 374 lines, omitting the lengthy reflections on the examples on Nebuchadnezzar and Holofernes that appear elsewhere ... and the tendencies to prayerful elaboration of the poem's ending." Indeed, the text in Ii.4-9 is about 100 lines shorter than it is in some other versions.23 In contrast, A.S.G. Edwards further suggests that Ff.2.38's compiler did not view Robert of Sicily as a religious legend. While Edwards's survey of the evidently popular Robert in ten manuscripts (including the Vernon and Simeon collections) finds the romance often but not

88 Rereading Middle English Romance always in religious/didactic contexts, he argues that Ff.2.38's Robert is "clearly seen as a secular work." Since "the entire manuscript is written by a single scribe, and since the first booklet (ff. 3-156) contains a lengthy series of devotional and didactic works in verse and prose," he says, "one must assume that the positioning of Robert was a considered one." The poem also appears in a similar context, he points out, in BL MS Harley 525 after the Seege of Troy and before Speculum Guy de Warwick (admittedly added later).24 I agree that the context of Ff.2.38's Robert of Sicily and Sir Degare consists of romances, but I would qualify the term "secular" as applied to that context, particularly since Ff.2-38's second booklet, which contains the two romances in question, appears to have existed separately from the first for a time. In my discussion of the Isumbras-group in chapter 3,1 considered the possible use of blank lines after item 36, instead of the usual colophons in display script for preceding items, to separate final items in the collection. The only exception is "Explicit Le Bone Fflorence of Rome" at the tail of item 41. The question of blank spaces is even more significant if we examine Ff.2.38's second booklet as a unit that existed before its combination with the first.25 I have previously mentioned that after item 36, spaces separate longer final items in the manuscript and that most of these spaces, in the middle of columns, sufficiently delineate these items. In a similar vein, display script at the heads of items in the second booklet may be graduated rather than inconsistent. Items 4OA and 406 have full first lines of initial display script; item 41, a partial first line; item 42, a full line; and item 43, a partial (see Illustration 6). These details combined with the contiguity of items suggest two groupings in the last booklet: Guy-Heraud and Florence before, and Robert of Sicily and Sir Degare after, the explicit of Le Bone Florence.26 A close look reveals that it is not possible to label this booklet of romances as either wholly secular or wholly religious. As discussed in connection with the Auchinleck Guy in chapter i, Guy's early adventures have no overt religious motivation. His later career of knightly deeds for God's sake, however, climaxes in his death after a fleeting reunion with his wife, Felice. His corpse heals the sick, and the narrator enjoins all of us to imitate them in their fear of God.27 The Heraud section of Guy recounts both the establishing of Guy's succession when Heraud recovers Guy's lost son, Reinborn, and the reverse doubling of that motif when Heraud discovers that his own son has come from England to search for his father. In item 41, the wanderings and exile of Florence, accused of adultery and murder, lead to successive and successful defences, by divine

89 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II intervention, of her chastity against all corners, and to her fame as a pious healer. While at the close, she returns with her husband to Rome and to a "life of secular wealth and happiness,"28 the poem finally moralizes that dishonest deeds, such as those of Florence's four malefactors (who come to her for healing and public confession), will be subject to divine punishment. Next comes Robert of Sicily, in which an angel precipitates King Robert's proud fall-humble rise pattern of piety. Finally, there is Sir Degare in basically the same chivalrous and faery version as found in Auchinleck, again with no predominantly pious element. It is uncertain what other items, if any, followed SD in the manuscript.29 It is generally true that whatever may have succeeded SD, the romance generally fits both the context of Ff.z^S's second booklet and that of the larger romance section at the end of the combined booklets. SD shares with the other romances in Ff.2.38 " lyric' elements" and "emphases on family, piety and the marvellous ... as dominant characteristics."30 But I would argue more particularly that the compiling of these romances in this particular sequence in Ff.2.38's second booklet also alternates between the homiletic (the later Guy, Florence, and Robert) and the adventurous or "secular" (early Guy, Heraud, SD). In this light, I think that Maldwyn Mills's suggestion on the romances in this second booklet is a valuable one: perhaps "Guy and Florence were at once included because of their obvious points of contact with some of the antecedent romances, and added too late to be physically juxtaposed to these (Guy next to Bevis, Florence next to Octavian)."31 The statement, moreover, appears to be true for all of these last romances in the second booklet and not just for Guy and Florence. This loose, almost alternating arrangement of adventurous and homiletic romances (or sections of romances), while possibly arising out of exigencies of production, also distinguishes between the kinds without separating them into tighter groupings of only like romances - as is the case for members of the JsMrabras-group at the end of the first booklet. The position of Sir Degare after Robert of Sicily at the end of a series of romances that are adventurous and homiletic almost by turns is therefore reminiscent of SD's contiguity with The Assumption of Our Lady in Auchinleck, or of the presence of The Assumption with two other romances in Gg4.27(2). These three arrangements might indicate a less than careful planning of the order of items, but also a more than ad hoc handling of randomly available exemplars; perhaps they indicate a tacit acceptance of the principle of contrasting kinds of items when a more manageable plan, such as that found at the end of Ff.2.38's first booklet, was not possible.

90 Rereading Middle English Romance The Auchinleck Seven Sages of Rome

The Seven Sages of Rome follows Sir Degare in Auchinleck. Piero Boitani summarizes the plot of the Seven Sages as follows: the Emperor Diocletian sends his son away from the Court to be educated by seven sages. When the boy returns, he is accused by his stepmother of trying to seduce her. Her magic arts render him mute for seven days, and he is condemned to death. On each of the seven nights that pass before the execution, the stepmother tries to convince the Emperor that his son is threatening to depose him: to support her argument she tells seven appropriate stories. But on each of the seven mornings, the seven sages in turn tell stories showing how dangerous it is to trust a woman. Diocletian does not know what to do and repeatedly changes his mind. Meanwhile his son regains his power of speech and exposes the queen's plot, whereupon she is condemned and burned alive.32 These framed stories depict, not a Christian morality, but "a hard shrewdness," the "target [of which] is not so much vice as stupidity."33 The position of the Seven Sages in Auchinleck between two romances, moreover, is echoed in two other manuscripts.34 A Comparison with BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix. In my discussion in chapter 3 of the Seven Sages as it appears in one of these two manuscripts, CUL Ff.2-38,35 I raised the question of its generic ambiguity, particularly given its position at the end of five romances in the first booklet and before four more in the next. I also noted that the frame narrative of Seven Sages in Ff.2.38 is similar in story-type to the plots of preceding romances in the first booklet.36 The question as to whether Seven Sages is a romance or not is relevant in the Auchinleck context as well, especially since several scholars believe that its author also wrote Of Arthour and of Merlin, Kyng Alisaundir, and Richard Coeur de Lion, all of which are pieces in Auchinleck.37 Another manuscript in which the question of genre regarding Seven Sages arises is BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix. Here Seven Sages is contiguous with the only other romance in the booklet and in the whole collection, Ywain and Gawain. Both items are written in the same hand 'belonging to the first quarter of the fifteenth century."38 Of Northern provenance, the vellum collection is a compilation of three separate manuscripts of the same period (1400-25), and no catchwords have been added at the ends of its three parts. Only one of the six scribes participated in the production of more than one booklet.39 Focal items in each of the three booklets, respectively,

91 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II are Ywain and Gawain and Seven Sages; historical poems by Laurence Minot and an English verse Gospel of Nicodemus; and a Prick of Conscience. Final display script in explicits or closing prayers bears some trace of the booklets' separate genesis: part i favours final display script touched with red; part 2, touched with yellow; and part 3, rubricated display script. Coincidently, only the major item at the beginning of each part opens with a prayer, in each case a long one. Mehl suggests that because of the fascicular provenance of the manuscript, "there would be little point in drawing any conclusions from the order of the individual items."40 The three parts of the manuscript, however, were probably combined "at a very early date," since the last of the six scribes, the only one whose work appears in more than one booklet, wrote the opening of a poem on the 1436 siege of Calais on f. 3r of the first booklet, then wrote the whole poem at the end of the third booklet (and of the whole manuscript), ff. H3V-14V.41 So the combination of booklets and resulting arrangement of items is of at least near-contemporary significance. Ff.2-38 and Cotton Galba E.ix as well as Auchinleck, then, place Seven Sages among or beside romances. Medieval compilers therefore appear to have been more ready than are many modern literary critics to see the compatability of Seven Sages with romances, if not its inclusion in the genre.42 The Auchinleck Floris and Blauncheflur Placed after Auchinleck's Seven Sages, Floris and Blauncheflur begins imperfectly because of a lost quire in scribe 3's stint; Pearsall estimates that about 1,050 lines of Seven Sages and 350 lines of Floris are missing.43 McKnight summarizes the work as a "free, somewhat condensed" translation, about half the length of its French source, including all "essential features" of the original story.44 The influence on the poem of French amatory romance and its short couplet form classifies it as an early member (ca. 1250) of a group including Ywain and Gawain and the earlier lays, including SD; this group otherwise is dated 1300-25 and comes from the London area, except for Ywain, which comes from the North.45 In the romance, when the parents of Floris, Prince of Spain, fear his childhood attachment to a slave, Blauncheflur, they sell her abroad. She eventually lands in the Babylonian Emir's harem as a candidate for queen. Floris sets off to recover her and eventually bribes his way, hidden in a flowerbasket, into the tower where she is kept. With the help of Blauncheflur's confidante, Clarice, Floris is reunited with his beloved. The Emir

92 Rereading Middle English Romance

eventually finds the couple together in bed and condemns them to death. Their beauty and the competing desires of each to die for the other lead the Emir to pardon them; they are married and the Emir marries Clarice. Finally, Floris and Blauncheflur ascend the Spanish throne. Critical disagreement over the interpretation of Floris focuses on the significance of its imagery. Edmund Reiss gives a symbolic reading of the imagery - including flowers, the walled garden by the maidens' tower, and Floris's journey over the water - to discover what he sees as its Robertsonian sentence. It may be "the story of a lover's going beyond death to save his lady"; indeed the real happy ending is about the "love of God which allows man to overcome death and achieve the bliss of heaven."46 On the other hand, Karl P. Wentersdorf sees more ambiguity in the poem's imagery, such as the chess game's associations with "success and failure in the pursuit and enjoyment of love" as well as with sin and damnation; nonetheless, the imagery as a whole creates an atmosphere of "youthful and passionate," "sensual" love.47 Roberto Giacone argues that the English version privileges Floris's "monogamous love" over "the eastern phenomenon of the polygamous ruler"; even Wentersdorf allows that Floris's prayer of thanks to Christ before the consummation of his love for Blauncheflur morally stamps their relationship as a kind of "troth-plight union" as found in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.48 All of these interpretations hover over the possible moral significance of the poem, a significance more or less explicit, more or less Christian. Do the different manuscript contexts and versions of the poem help to resolve these differences of opinion? Comparison with Variants in CULMS 0^.4.27(2) and Egerton 2862. First, a sample comparison of the final incidents of the plot in Auchinleck, Gg4.27(2), and Egerton 286249 is instructive. These incidents include the union of the lovers, their discovery by the Emir and his judgment of them, their acquittal, and the denouement. By and large there are no substantial differences amongst the three versions except in degree of elaboration, generally in the order of Egerton 2862 (least), part 2 of Gg4.27 (more), and Auchinleck (most). For example, Auchinleck (lines 538-41) and Gg4-27 (lines 545-54) have the lovers talk in bed about the trials of their separation, whereas Egerton 2862 does not; Gg4.27 even adds the comment that the lovers wanted no other heaven but their subsequent lovemaking. Passages on Clarice's vain attempt to wake Blauncheflur for work the morning after this are, in Auchinleck (lines 558-69) and Gg4.27

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(lines 569-74), examples of their frequent additional detail in bridging episodes. Auchinleck (lines 732-5, 738-9) and Gg4-27 (lines 707-10) also have more descriptive detail on the couple's beauty and sorrow in face of the Emir's judgment. While Egerton ends abruptly with Floris's call away to Spain and a terse coronation, Auchinleck and Gg4.27 both end with the Emir's ineffectual plea for the couple to stay and rule in Babylon, and with closing prayers. Gg4-27 also has its own passage on Floris giving financial rewards to Clarice and to Daris, the bridgekeeper, for their help in winning Blauncheflur; and Auchinleck includes additional pious detail on the couple's destiny in heaven after their death. In spite of differing degrees of elaboration, then, a sample comparison of the versions does not reveal significant differences among them. The manuscript context for Floris is rather more conclusive. The Eastern ambience of Floris - somewhat amplified in Auchinleck's description of over a hundred impregnable towers in Babylon (lines 229-34), lines absent in Egerton 2862 and Gg4.27(2) - fits well with that of the Seven Sages and Assumption of Our Lady. With due regard for the fragmentary state of Gg4.27(2), the gathering there of Floris with (again) The Assumption as well as King Horn is a further, similar combination with exotic overtones. Indeed, Horn includes four encounters with Saracens: the Saracen invaders who kill Horn's father, occupy his kingdom Suddene, and set the youth adrift; the Saracen pirates he kills to prove his knighthood and worth for Rymenhild; his vengeance on the Saracen giant who killed his father; and his final elimination of the occupying Saracens from Suddene. Comparison with Manuscript Context in Egerton 2862. The inclusion of Floris and Blauncheflur in Egerton 2862 is worthy of more consideration, particularly since, as Jacobs reminds us, five out of its seven romances are also in Auchinleck: items i (Richard Coeur de Lion), 2 (Beves of Hampton), 3 (Sir Degare), 4 (Floris and Blauncheflur), and 6 (Amis and Amiloun).50 The other two Egerton romances are items 5 (The Siege of Troy) and 7 (Sir Eglamour). Eglamour, Beves, and SD also reappear in the romance section of Ff.2-38. The manuscript is a vellum collection of Suffolk provenance, probably late fourteenth century. Robinson estimates that eight gatherings are missing from the manuscript, two of them from the context of items 2 to 4. The missing folios are the last leaf of Beves; the first (estimated three) leaves and final (estimated six) leaves of SD, the two extant leaves of which, ff. 97 and 95, are presently bound in reverse order; and the opening (estimated two) leaves of Floris.51 Periodic spaces left for initials of usually three-lines at the beginnings of items give the

94 Rereading Middle English Romance manuscript an unfinished look, and it is considerably damaged by dampness, as well as torn and cut away.52 Missing beginnings and/ or endings of items make sustained analysis of layout and decoration at those junctures impossible. Some final display script and more than a whole blank page at the end of item 5, however, add support to Robinson's assertion that items 6 (Amis) and 7 (Eglamour), in a new double-column format after the previous single columns, are part of a second incomplete booklet in the manuscript. Robinson also indicates that quire signatures establish the sequence and adjacency of the extant items in the collection. These items appear to be grouped to some extent on the basis of story-type and/or metrical form.53 Richard and Beves are both early couplet romances, that contain episodic battles and adventures centering on English heroes - characterized by Pearsall as "vigorously professional adaptations of French poems of the chanson de geste type."54 As mentioned above, SD and F/on's, also contiguous in Auchinleck, here share the short couplet form, the influences of French amatory romance and Breton lai, and a London provenance. After another and later55 couplet romance, the Siege of Troy, follow two tail-rhyme romances, Amis and the fragmentary Eglamour, contained in their own booklet. So for the purposes of comparison between the Auchinleck and Egerton contexts of SD, of significance are the contiguity of SD and F/on's in both manuscripts, their common metrical form, and their shared literary precursors and London provenance.56 Final Items in the Auchinleck Degare Booklet The booklet concludes with single items by two other scribes. The first is an expanded version of the Sayings of the Four Philosophers, opening with five macaronic quatrains, in English and AngloNorman, that criticize Edward n (in symbolic fashion) for acting contrary to his own signature on the Ordinances of 11 October 1311. Then, in six-line tail-rhyme, the four philosophers discourse on the ills of the age, and Christian exhortations follow.57 The last item is a list of Norman barons, "the oldest surviving copy of the list of names of the Norman knights who supposedly fought at Hastings and for whom William the Conqueror founded Battle Abbey."58 In order to place these final items of the Auchinleck Degare booklet in context with the rest, it is necessary to recapitulate briefly my argument concerning the specific context of the Auchinleck SD and its reference points in other manuscript collections. First, if the homiletic neighbours of the Auchinleck SD, including the Assumption

95 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II of Our Lady, puzzle us, it is intructive to see the Assumption combined with two romances, including Floris (also in the Auchinleck Degare booklet), in Gg4.27(2). Perhaps in Ff.2-38, there is a dispersal of what might have been an earlier, more cohesive grouping of like romances, including SD, into an additional new booklet; even so, SD still rubs shoulders there with homiletic pieces like Robert of Sicily and even becomes a part of a counterpoint of piety and adventure. Second, there is also the matter of the recurring association of SD with romances such as Floris and Blauncheflur and the quasi-romance, The Seven Sages of Rome, in Auchinleck and elsewhere. As we have seen, the recurring contiguity of Seven Sages with romances in Auchinleck, Ff.2.38, and Cotton Galba E.ix suggests that it may itself have been considered one. SD shares with Floris a London provenance and derivation from continental love poems and lays; and Floris, companion to SD in Auchinleck and Egerton 2862, shares the Eastern ambience of the Auchinleck Assumption and Seven Sages, as do The Assumption and King Horn with Floris in Gg4.27(2). These recurring associations in manuscripts before and after Auchinleck suggest a loose rationale, but rationale nonetheless, for the Auchinleck context of SD. The presence of the Sayings and the list of barons as the last two items in this context, then - each written in a different hand from that of preceding items in the booklet59 - suggests a slightly looser rationale for the whole booklet. The whole result suggests a compromise between exigencies of production and generic/topical arrangement. Indeed, "unless he was willing to waste a great deal of space, the organizer of the manuscript had to tolerate some cases where the content of the manuscript did not mesh entirely with its organization into gatherings."60 This would be particularly true if/as Shonk argues, the compiler were farming out single booklets to scribes - in this case to scribe 3, whose only stint was in this booklet. Shonk further argues that the general practice of scribe i was to have major romances (longer than ten folios) begin on new gatherings,61 in which case SD (at seven folios) would not qualify for the opening of its own booklet and would have to be included elsewhere. There is the further possibility that the SD booklet existed for some time as a fascicle,62 in anthology fashion, before being envisaged as part of a larger whole. In any case, in its extant composite context, the booklet appears to be a transitional one. Its opening religious items, instructional and legendary, are consonant with the previous two booklets of predominantly religious legends of Gregorius, St Margaret, and Mary Magdalene, for example - and of the romances, The King of Tars and Amis and Amiloun. The Sayings

96 Rereading Middle English Romance and list of barons, final fillers in the Degare booklet, moreover, are not at odds with the two succeeding booklets of martial romances including Guy of Warwick and Beves of Hampton. Therefore, even if some scrambling is present in the Degare booklet as a result of the interweaving of stints by different scribes,63 the result has generic coherence. Indeed, a final arrangement of booklets for the whole manuscript, with an eye to the grouping of its contents according to kinds of items, could not have placed the Degare booklet in so consistent a position.64 SIR ORFEO IN MANUSCRIPT CONTEXT The Auchinleck Sir Orfeo In my previous discussion of the Auchinleck MS, I cited Pearsall's suggestion that Guy of Warwick may be "the great prestige item of the collection." Indeed, Guy appears to be in numerous ways a kind of structural centre of the whole collection. As previously mentioned, not only is Amis and Amiloun continually indebted verbally to Guy, but Guy is also inserted into a speculum (item 10), a list of heroes in Beves, and the Chronicle (item 4O)/5 E.B. Lyle has further suggested that the rescue of Amis by Guy's son, Reinbrun, may be a source for Orfeo's rescue of Eurodys from faeryland, given evident parallels between the two poems. So in the manuscript context of Auchinleck, Sir Orfeo (SO) shares a nexus of relationships with Guy as well as with the other two lays in Auchinleck, Le Freine and Sir Degare; indeed, SO and Le Freine may have been written by the same author and probably originally shared the same prologue in Auchinleck.^ SO lies in a booklet that includes Sir Tristrem and The Four Foes of Mankind and that was compiled by scribe i, regarded by Timothy Shonk as the directing scribe for the entire manuscript.68 Because the ending of Sir Tristrem and opening of SO are missing, probably because of the excision of a miniature, some evidence of layout and decoration is, again, lacking. The contiguity of the three items in the same booklet is nonetheless significant, especially in a manuscript that, Shonk has argued, exhibits a high degree of planning. There are at least three apparent reasons for this contiguity. First, Lyle69 has argued that in the precursors of SO and Thomas's Tristran, the probable source of Sir Tristrem,70 lies an abduction narrative that hinges on the abductor's yielding up a wife "because of a rash promise." Thomas and the Middle English Tristrem both include a doubling of this motif. First, a visiting minstrel tricks King Mark

97 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II

into granting him his wife as a boon for a musical performance. Then, for a promise of reward from the abductor, Tristram, himself disguised as a minstrel, musically performs to console Isolde; in the process, he tricks the abductor into handing Isolde over into his hands again.71 The common genealogy of Tristrem and SO also underlines a second and broader similarity: their heroes are both harpers. Finally the poems also share similarities in form. Pearsall regards Sir Tristrem, like King Horn, as an "attempt to adapt laytype conventions to the conduct of a longer narrative," including "rapid transitions, allusive episodes ... cryptic, staccato narration," and an elaborate eleven-line stanza.72 The lay-like form of Tristrem and SO, then, probably also accounts for the grouping of them together in Auchinleck. The Four Foes of Mankind, which finishes the booklet, is a warning against the world, flesh, devil, and death. The piece begins at the top of the second column on f. 303^ apparently with its own item number,73 after a four-line space at the end of SO in column one. Unlike most items in the manuscript, and unlike twenty-eight of the thirty-one items written by scribe i, the poem has no title or miniature. These details indicate that the lyric, while a distinct item, is probably also a filler with no marked relation to the preceding two romances, unless one reads SO as a Christian allegory. Yet a number of critics have read the poem precisely this way.74 Indeed, candidates for the key to the allegedly allegorical work include "the myths of Orpheus and/or Proserpina, the Irish aithed or abduction story or other Celtic myths, the explusion and return model of folklore, the rex inutilis motif, and the Christian model of redemption." Jeff Rider argues that the poet's combination of varied mythic material has created "a hybrid super-myth ... [that,] mythically over-determined as it is, cries out for interpretation," both laudatory and contradictory.75 Rider goes on to focus on the faery element in the poem as its central problem - the very element that is more pronounced in Auchinleck than in the two subsequent versions. Sir Orfeo in BL MS Hurley 3810/1 The first of these subsequent versions of SO is found in BL MS Harley 3810/1, a fifteenth-century Warwickshire paper manuscript of thirtyfour now individually-mounted leaves, written in single columns by one scribe.76 The Harley version of SO contains only 509 lines compared with Auchinleck's 604; most noticeably, less than half of Auchinleck's 100 final lines exist in Harley, probably, Bliss suggests,

98 Rereading Middle English Romance

because it "was written down by a minstrel from memory." In comparison to Auchinleck, Bliss continues, Harley notably cuts out descriptive detail on the following matters:77 1 In the episode describing Orfeo's self-imposed forest exile, Harley omits the contrast between Orfeo's luxurious past as king and his deprivation in the forest (Auchinleck, lines 241-2,247-50), as well as a description of the fairy king with his assembled knights (Auchinleck, lines 293-6). 2 At the court of the fairy king, Harley omits the gruesome vision of the underworld dead (Auchinleck, lines 391-404) and the fairy court's enjoyment of Orfeo's harping (Auchinleck, lines 439-42, 445-6). 3 In the final scene Harley omits mention of the wonder expressed upon Orfeo's hairy appearance (Auchinleck, lines 501-8), the steward's grief at Orfeo's supposed death, and Orfeo's love for him and account of his absence (Auchinleck, lines 545-52,555-6, 559-62); neither does Harley mention Orfeo's explanation for the ruse of his reported death or the rejoicing and wonder of the court at his return (Auchinleck, lines 565-82,585-6,589-94). Harley also adds four more lines to what is a one-line prayer in Auchinleck. In all, then, the Harley version is a barer narrative due to its excising of "faery" detail and the emotional, interpersonal drama of Orfeo's self-disclosure in the denouement; indeed, the Harley Orfeo is not even disguised upon his return to court.78 The expansion in Harley 3810/1 of the Auchinleck closing prayer may well suggest a more pious view of the poem, a suggestion supported by the larger manuscript context in Harley 3810/1. Julia Boffey has characterized the manuscript as a "small-scale epitome of the available range of popular reading: practical instruction" (items 3 and 4), "devotional material" (item 6), "popular religious legend" (item 2), and "entertainment" - the courtly love lyric (item 5) and SO.79 Occasional titles, explicits, and intervening spaces distinguish items, particularly the longer ones (items i, 2, and 6). These details and the presence of an almost contemporary table of contents (f. 34v)8° reinforce Boffey's suggestion that part i has the appearance of a "planned anthology" much more than do parts 2 and 3 of the manuscript.81 For all of its variety, there is nonetheless a pervasive religious tone to the Harley manuscript. Panem vite tells of how a knight's wife regains her faith in the Eucharist, "god in forme of brede," as

99 Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II

the refrain has it; the host that she buries at home becomes a fruitful tree and an epiphany of Jesus Christ at one of her dinner parties. The precepts ending in -ly open with a sense of practical piety: Serve thy god trwly and the world bysely ete thy mete merely, So schalt thou lyve in hele.82

well-being

The refrain of the next poem, enjoining its reader to fast and pray on Fridays, recurs as the poem strings together Biblical saints' stories as exemplary "Friday events"; and even the love lyric opens and closes with a Christian blessing. In all, this larger manuscript context is notably religious in flavour, though generically varied. In such a context, a Sir Orfeo stripped of most of its faery atmospherics and human drama and having a lengthened final prayer may appear to have an exemplary religious thrust. Indeed, its sparer narrative may invite an allegorical gloss. Sir Orfeo in Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 6i83

In chapter 3, I discussed Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61, which dates from the late fifteenth to the early sixteenth century and was written by a scribe who called himself Rat(h)e. The appearance of the manuscript is uniform; there are no links and almost no explicits or blank spaces between items, and initials are mostly small and undifferentiated. While Ashmole thus does not provide indicators of possible structural groupings of items across the collection, the contiguity of items, as well as other features of layout and decoration, provide more than what Guddat-Figge's sees as an "arbitrary" arrangement.84 This is noticeably so in the context of SO. After item 33, for example, there is no explicit at the end of items until the closing of SO (item 39). With the exception of two nonintrusive fillers - Christ's discourse on his wounds as antidotes to the seven deadly sins in item 38, and a piece on the vanity of human endeavour in item 40 - the final items of the extant manuscript are not only pious but also mostly "edifying narratives" comprised of "legends and exemplary tales."85 Item 34 is a kind of travelogue on pious sights in Jerusalem with a pilgrim narrator-guide and pertinent Gospel stories along the way. Next is The Adulterous Falmouth Squire, a knight's lament in the torments of hell for his life of sin and a warning to the living about the judgment to come, complete with

ioo Rereading Middle English Romance

an exemplary tale against adultery.86 Here an angel shows a grieving son both his adulterous father, now dead and suffering in hell, and also his uncle, who is in heavenly bliss. The son finds his uncle, "a creatoure/ Als bryght as any sonne-beme" and to whom the angel "dyde ... grete honoure," in a walled arbour that shines like gems, under "a pynnakyll pyght ... Off clothes of gold that burnest bryght" - an otherworldly setting and details that fit well with SO. Item 36 tells, often with dramatic dialogue, of the sleeping "knights" at Christ's empty tomb and of his postresurrection appearances.87 In item 37, the beautiful and virginal St Margaret refuses the advances of an evil pagan king at the cost of beating, imprisonment, a (successful) battle against a dragon, and finally martyrdom, after the miraculous conversion of thousands. Ashmole 6i's final imperfect item, King Edward and the Hermit, follows SO (see Illustration 7) and the two previously mentioned fillers. After he becomes lost in the hunt and prays to St Julian for harbour at night, the king lodges with a hermit and assumes an entertaining incognito as "Jhake Flecher." Much of the tale is driven by the dramatic irony of the king's promise to the hermit of fair returns for his hospitality at court, possible because of "Jack's" connections there.88 In Ashmole's largely edifying narrative manuscript context, differences in its version of SO are noteworthy. Ashmole 61, like Harley 3810/1, omits much faery descriptive detail and has an extended final prayer, similarly yielding a more pious version than Auchinleck's.89 But Ashmole's changes also include: • A prologue on springtime and married love (from Arthur and Merlin in Auchinleck, lines 259-6490). • The omission of Orfeo's pagan divine lineage (Auchinleck, lines 39-46). • Additional pathetic detail on Orfeo's and Eurodis's love (Ashmole, lines 120,122, and 191-2). • Specific mention of the means of Orfeo's and Eurodis's escape from the faery kingdom - by God's grace - and of them both together on the journey, rather than just Orfeo (Ashmole 464-7).91 These details highlight an exclusively Christian piety and the couple's married love, details that partially signify what Pamela Robinson argues is Rate's broader editing policy, applied to various items in Ashmole 61, for family reading.92 These changes within the poem well suit its immediate manuscript context of edifying narrative, which suggests a more explicitly religious/exemplary reading of SO than in Auchinleck.

ioi Romances in Composite Manuscript Contexts II CONCLUSION

Several telling points arise from this discussion of Sir Degare and Sir Orfeo. First, as was important for the case of Sir Isumbras, a comparison of the manuscript versions of these romances reminds us that there are at least two or perhaps three Sir Orfeos93 and two Sir Degares. It is a convenient and frequent shorthand for literary critics of the poem to deal with the Auchinleck versions as the versions of SD and SO, and there may well be a preference for the more faery versions and so-called //better texts" in Auchinleck. Nevertheless, an examination of variants of each manuscript version of the works in its manuscript context encourages a more accurate view, not only of the poems, but also of the contexts in which they exist. Second, such an examination alters our classification of the poems by virtue of their distinct and multi-generic contexts. I wish to illustrate this with a brief reference to the critical debate on the nature of the Middle English lay. For example, John Finlayson provides both a helpful review of criticism on the lay and a compelling generic analysis of the eight works often classified as Middle English lays.94 In reaction to critical confusion over the term, Finlayson presents what he calls the "cold facts" of the matter: "that the relationship of the Middle English works to those of Marie de France varies from very close to negligible, and that Marie's own subject matter is not uniform; that the subject matter of the Middle English works varies almost as much as the matter of the romances; and that the method of treatment of that matter is by no means uniform."95 Finlayson concludes that, beyond brevity and concentration on simple action, seven of the lays can be divided according to two kinds: the Le Freine type, "an ordeal tale which generally involves improbable coincidences"; and the principal Launfal type, "essentially a short romance which usually involves some supernatural element." Table 9 diagrams these conclusions.96 Criteria for each type of lay are listed in the lefthand column; for each lay cited, a check mark indicates where the lay meets a criterion, an "X," where it does not. My discussion of variant versions of the two lays in this chapter qualifies Finlayson's conclusions about them. The Auchinleck SO, in the company of Sir Tristrem and having resonances with Guy of Warwick and other romances in Auchinleck, clearly qualifies as one of Finlayson's "short romance" lays with a supernatural element. This classification also applies to the faery and chivalrous version of Sir Degare in its transitional booklet between preceding religious items and succeeding martial romances in Auchinleck, and to the same

1O2 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 9 Two Types of Middle English Lays, According to John Finlayson Le Freine Type

Launfal Type

Emare

Component

Degare

Orfeo

Toulous

Gowther

Chivalric hero Heroine Combat Ordeal Faery/supernatural Love-motivation/-testing Loss-restoration plot

V

V

V

X

X

X

X

V

X

V

V

X

X

V

V X

V V V

X

V V V V

X

V

V

V X

V

X

X

X

V V

version of SD in the dispersed homiletic/adventurous counterpoint of CUL Ff.2.38's second booklet. But Stokoe's Z version, that string of sensationalized adventures stripped of all enchantment and of the chivalric development of its hero, is not so clearly one of Finlayson's short romance lays. The Z SD instead resembles its neighbour romances, The Jeaste of Syr Gawayne and Eglamour, in one loose romance anthology (Douce 26i),97 and takes its place nearby Floris and Blauncheflur in another, more structured one (Egerton 2862). This second version of Sir Degare suggests a subcategory of the Launfal type, without a chivalric hero and the faerie element. Finlayson's second, or Le Freine type of lay, the ordeal tale with improbable coincidences, is applicable in a surprising way. The label would apply (but for the criterion of heroine), for example, to the more pious, less faery Harley and Ashmole versions of Sir Orfeo in their more religious manuscript contexts. The need for these qualifications regarding one set of definitions of the Middle English lay is clear: manuscript context, and varying versions of texts, can have generic implications, sometimes even differing ones for the same work. Finally, analysis of SD and SO in their various manuscript contexts provides concrete instances of, and models for, composite structure beyond the level of the individual literary work; indeed, there are no surviving manuscripts that present SD or SO alone for the reader. The structural significance of these "concrete instances" is thus the topic of my concluding chapter.

5 The Rhetoric of Composite Structure, or Rereading Middle English Romance: Conclusions

In order to discuss some remaining implications of preceding chapters for notions of genre, medieval literary structure, and the "single work/' it is necessary to return to some questions outstanding from the end of chapter 2. There I stated that some generalizations of the chapter would need to be qualified by attention in chapters 3 and 4 to particular contexts in individual manuscripts. One question remaining is as follows: in individual manuscripts, do compilers use differing features of layout and decoration as guides by which readers may discern groups of items? Second, is the conclusion that extent of decoration differs for romance and nonromance items, found for all manuscripts, borne out in individual manuscripts? PREAPPRAISAL OF SOME

STATISTICAL GENERALIZATIONS

First, my discussions have shown that individual manuscripts, while sharing with other manuscripts similar features of layout and decoration, also make use of particular features distinctively. Table 10 identifies some of those differences, which were discussed more fully in chapters i, 3, and 4.* Table 10 and the arguments in earlier chapters from which it arises establish, in considerable detail, different uses of particular features of layout and decoration from manuscript to manuscript and, at times, distinctive use of the same features. This more detailed

104 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 10 Features of Layout and Decoration Manuscript

Adv. 19.3.1

Ashmole 61

Auchinleck

Cotton Caligula A.ii Cotton Galba E.ix Douce 261 Egerton 2862 Ff.2.38 Gg.4.27(2) Gonville & Caius 175/96 Harley 3810/1 Laud Misc. 108 Lincoln

Features

grouping by kind of booklets and contemporary numbering titles, initials, blank spaces/folios, explicits, scribal signature, display script in the context of Sir Isumbras, contiguity, scribal signature, illustrations in the context of Sir Orfeo, contiguity and uniform decoration in the Guy context, numerous features including item numbering, titles, illustrations, column layout, links in the context of Sir Degare, grouping of items and item numbering grouping by zones of coloured wash contrasting decoration by booklet contiguity change in column format by booklet links, display script contiguity balanced layout and decoration titles, explicits, blank spaces, table of contents item numbering, running titles, display script red initials, double-column format, kinds of title, incipits, explicits, display script

and individualized information complements the statistics for all manuscripts together, given in chapter 2. My discussions of individual manuscripts subsequent to chapter 2 also introduce some qualification to my earlier generalization that there is greater extent of decoration for all romances in the manuscripts. Only seven of the fifteen manuscripts are suitable for comment;2 so qualification of the statistical generalization for all manuscripts will itself be of limited value. In the romance booklet of the Lincoln MS, romance texts do not consistently have more decoration than nonromance items, but the delineation of romances from what some regard as other intrusive texts is accomplished by the distinctive use of kinds of titles and incipits. In a number of manuscripts, romances often share high values of extent of decoration with some other kinds of items, but in ways that also call attention to other important factors in the compilation of the manuscripts: a degree of haphazard organization, in Add. 31042; a preoccupation, in Adv. 19.3.1, with generic organization into booklets (which combines as well as distinguishes between romances and other

105 Conclusions

kinds of items); and the problem, in Ff.2-38, of dwindling display script and explicits in its romance section. Finally, some manuscript groupings of romances with other kinds of items exhibit similar values for extent of decoration for all the associated items: in Ashmole 61, a courtesy context for Sir Isumbras and edifying narrative context for Sir Orfeo; in Cotton Caligula A.ii, a penitential block of items that includes three romances, marked off by yellow display script; and in Gonville and Caius 175/96, consistently balanced layout and decoration for romances in their edifying context. Discussion of particular manuscript contexts therefore introduces a number of factors that complicate my earlier statistical generalization concerning romance and nonromance items. On the one hand, there is the distinction made between romance and nonromance items by layout and decoration, and on the other, the visual grouping by layout and decoration of romances and other kinds of items in broader generic blocks - courtesy, edifying narrative, penitential, hagiographic. Also, in a number of cases, production problems such as haphazard organization or changes in decorating conventions arguably influence layout and decoration. Such complications for statistical generalization are bound to arise at the level of particularity. On the more abstract and global level, then, given its premises, romances do have greater extent of decoration than nonromances; yet it is also true that in those individual manuscripts where evidence is available, other concerns demand our attention. The force of those concerns is cautionary: they lead us to say "yes, but ..." to the statistical generalization. Both levels of analysis are illuminating; both are limited, however, and need one another. While one of these qualifications thus has to do with the distinction between romance and nonromance items, two others remind us of wider concerns of this study: multigeneric fields in manuscripts, and the importance of production factors, and not just literary shaping, in some manuscripts. All three issues now need further mutual conceptualizing. THE IDEA OF THE "SINGLE LITERARY WORK" 3 I have argued in this study for the value of reading Middle English romances, not only as single literary works in modern editions, but also as parts of their composite manuscript collections. A comparison of the various manuscript versions for Sir Isumbras, Sir Degare, and Sir Orfeo reminds us that there are at least two versions of SD and SO, as well as significant variations amongst versions of Sir Isumbras. While, for convenience, we let the Auchinleck versions

io6 Rereading Middle English Romance

alone stand for Sir Orfeo and Sir Degare, for example, an examination of different manuscript versions of these romances encourages a more accurate look at the poem/poems, and reminds us that often, "each act of copying was to a large extent an act of recomposition, and not an episode in a process of decomposition from an ideal form."4 Besides comparing different manuscript versions of a work, reading that work together with others in the manuscript collection as a whole is a necessary but also taxing response to the facts of surviving romance manuscripts. Of the eighty-six manuscripts (excluding twelve fragments) listed by Guddat-Figge in her Catalogue, only eleven contain one romance with no other accompanying texts. In all other manuscripts, romances appear with other texts, often with other romances; thirty or about one-third of the eightysix, in fact, contain two or more romances. The composite manuscript context of Middle English romance is thus a cogent invitation to attend to the company kept by individual romances. Any response to this invitation that aims to qualify what we mean by an "individual" Middle English romance meets with a number of difficulties, however. Some problems associated with classifying individual romances (or romance itself as a genre) have largely been taken up in chapters 3 and 4; but there remains the difficulty of characterizing collections that include many other kinds of items besides romances, probably written by different and unknown authors. This is the problem of composite literary structure. Some recent attempts to characterize the wide variety of kinds of items, including romances, in the manuscript collections discussed in this shady have used the following methods: • Broad generalization. Example: "Very unusual mixture of texts ... The three romances in this MS. [NLS Adv. 19.3.1] go well with the rest, being edifying and at the same time rather entertaining."5 • Selective exclusion. Example: "[I]f we do not allow ourselves to be distracted by the comic items, which are mostly confined to the first booklet, we find that the contents [of Adv. 19.3.1] are very similar in character to those of Cotton Caligula A II."6 • Encompassing parataxis. Example: "Heroic exploits against Saracens, dragons, or giants occur in almost all [of the romances in CUL MS Ff.2-38] ... within plots hinging on the persecution of virtuous women, especially faithful wives wrongfully accused of adultery, the separation of children from parents, noble children brought up in humble circumstances, vindication of the innocent, and family reunions."7

107 Conclusions While all of these methods are in varying degrees useful, their limitations underline the methodological difficulty posed by the question of "the one and the many" in these collections, especially when the many are often so diverse. This kind of difficulty is central to discussions in each chapter of this study, all of which navigate contradictions or binary oppositions pertaining to particular manuscript contexts: Guy as one composite work v. Guy as three separate works; romance v. nonromance in manuscript layout and decoration; romance v. saint's life in the homiletic romance; lay v. romance. The challenge of resolving these contradictions where possible is reminiscent of Wittgenstein's duckrabbit: "we all see both its duck aspect and its rabbit aspect" but only with difficulty see both aspects simultaneously8 - in this case, the two contradictory terms and their resolution or nonresolution. The challenge in making possible sense out of romance manuscript collections, it seems to me, is to discern in Coleridgean terms some kind of "unity in multeity" rather than "unity by the exclusion of multeity"9 - if unity there be. Some recent major discussions of medieval literary structure10 are not very helpful with this problem, since they usually focus on single works by single authors, such as Chaucer's House of Fame, or on composite works, such as The Canterbury Tales or Malory's Morte Darthur. In the course of his Ethical Poetic of the Later Middle Ages, for example, Judson Allen distinguishes between forma tractandi, the informing outline or "mental and verbal procedures by which a text is made," and forma tractatus, or "literal arrangement of the parts of a text," which is often delineated by manuscript rubrication. He argues that the structured creative impulse to an arrangement of parts - forma tractandi - which results in their visible order - forma tractatus - is symptomatic of "a way of thinking that plausibly can conceive of definition in terms of a normative array of parts or topics."11 Unfortunately, then, Allen's discussion of the double form of individual medieval texts, as productive process and as literary result, may be helpful only as an analogy for thinking about the array of parts or individual works of whole manuscript collections. More useful are two distinct views of the structure of whole manuscript collections. These are Pamela Robinson's notion of the manuscript "booklet" as a composite literary unit, and Ralph Raima's view of the "booklet" as a production unit. Robinson sees the booklet as a quire or collection of quires, self-sufficient in content, containing (when undamaged) a single, complete text or group of texts. Such a booklet, after a temporary separate existence, would often be bound with others into a composite manuscript

io8 Rereading Middle English Romance book.12 Hanna, however, stresses that "a fundamental reason for booklet production is the possibility of delaying any step which would absolutely determine the shape of the resulting codex"; criteria for identifying booklets should "deal with the physical formation of quires."13 I believe that these contrasting definitions, in their extremes, represent polar views of the structure of romance manuscript collections, and I argue in this study that the relative preponderance of literary shaping and exigencies of production varies from manuscript to manuscript. In the case of Sir Degare, for example, I have shown that the poem appears in its various manuscript contexts recurringly with Floris and Blauncheflur and other romances, as well as with The Seven Sages and The Assumption of Our Lady. These associations are not consonant with some modern generic sensibilities - or apparently, with some medieval ones, as are evident in the Lincoln MS, Ff.2.38, and Adv. 19.3.1, which exhibit a high degree of distinction amongst kinds of items. The differences in plot and setting between Sir Degare and Floris and Blauncheflur as romances, the usual modern exclusion of The Seven Sages from the romance category, and the explicit religious nature of The Assumption of Our Lady (which Sir Degare does not share) give modern readers pause. True, the Eastern ambience of some of these works, the repeated contiguity of Seven Sages with romances, and the provenance in French amatory romance and the short couplet form of Sir Degare and Floris and Blauncheflur in particular validate the associations of Sir Degare in context. More significant for Sir Degare, I think, are the production considerations of both Auchinleck and other manuscript reference points: the fragmentary state of Gg4.27(2); the question of the second booklet in Ff.z^S; the delayed compilation of the three booklets of Cotton Galba E.ix; and the possible transitional nature of the Auchinleck Degare booklet itself.14 While such conclusions for the manuscript contexts of Sir Degare disappoint expectations for more compelling literary shaping of these manuscript contexts, they do remind us of the need to attend to the ad hoc element of manuscript production. On the other hand, more persuasive conclusions on the literary significance of manuscript groupings for Sir Orfeo have been possible, because there is evidence in these contexts of more pronounced literary shaping than there is for manuscript contexts of Sir Degare. The Auchinleck Orfeo is evidently associated with romances - Sir Tristrem, Guy of Warwick, Lai le Freine, and Sir Degare. In contrast, the less faery Harley and Ashmole versions of Orfeo appear in the more religious manuscript contexts of Harley's varied but

109 Conclusions notably religious anthology, and of Ashmole's mostly edifying narratives. This double complexion of Sir Orfeo suggests that the label "Middle English lay" must allow for varied generic shading of the "same work."15 GROUPS OF ROMANCES AND MANUSCRIPT CONTEXT It is valuable, then, to classify single romances in their manuscript contexts, and to classify those contexts according to the varying preponderance of literary shaping or production factors in and across manuscript collections. But does such classification make any difference to scholarly discussions of not only single romances but also groups of them? Useful discussions of Middle English romance have often classified groups in the genre according to categories such as length (Mehl), extent of realization of chivalric ethos (Finlayson16), or matter - of France, England, and Rome, for example (Barren). While all three of these studies refer to manuscript evidence, existing scholarship has not yet recognized the extent to which these manuscripts can suggest, for example, which romances should be thought about and read together. For the case of romances in the Isumbras-group, existing scholarly discussions recall as yet only a few manuscript groupings of romances. Barren discusses SI in relation to Le Bone Florence, Chevalere Assigne, Octavian, and Sir Triamour, in effect labelling all as homiletic romances;17 his sample is most reminiscent of members of the Isumfrras-group in Ff.2.38. In his survey of Middle English romance by medium and period, Pearsall groups SI with the following members of the "central tradition" of tail-rhyme, dating from 1340 on: Athelston, Sir Eglamour, Octavian, Sir Torrent of Portyngale, and Sir Triamour?8 members of this sample most resemble those of the Isumbras-group as they appear in the "group" manuscripts, Ff.2.38 and the Lincoln MS. Finlayson suggests that exempla rather than homiletic romance is an apt term to apply to the following romances that he associates with SI: Amis and Amiloun, Athelston, Emare, The King of Tars, Robert of Sicily, The Seven Sages, Sir Cleges, and Sir Amadace*9 This list of works recalls parts of Iswmbrfls-group combinations in some manuscripts, but not in any one collection in particular. Finally Mehl's discussion of homiletic romances, assigned to its own chapter in his book, includes SI as well as the following: Athelston, Le Bone Florence, Chevalere Assigne, Emare, Sir Gowther, King of Tars, Robert of Sicily, and The Sege off Melayne.20 This sample of romances notably

no

Rereading Middle English Romance

contains three of those present in Cotton Caligula A.ii. So these four scholarly categorizations of romances mainly resemble the particular associations of members of the Isumbras-group found in only three manuscripts: Cotton Caligula A.ii, Ff.2-38, and Lincoln 91. Yet my discussion in chapter 3 has indicated eight manuscript contexts for members of the Isumbras-group, six of which contain Sir Isumbras itself. My examination of SI in its multiple manuscript contexts therefore provides an expansion of this relatively narrow range of existing scholarly categories by including a broader variety of works, some of them not romances, associated with SI: the anthologized romances in Douce 261, the homiletic and multigeneric contexts of Gonville and Caius 175/96 (saints' lives) and of Ashmole 61 (courtesy items), and the varied combination of, not only kinds of items, but also kinds of booklets in Adv. 19.3.1. These other associations of SI with a variety of kinds of items are evidently ones that scholarship on Middle English romance has yet to address. MODELS OF COMPOSITE LITERARY STRUCTURE, AND THE QUESTION OF GENRE These results, however, can be taken beyond the classification of groups of romances with reference to manuscript context, to the classification of whole manuscript contexts and collections. Such classification also yields models of literary structure that are pertinent for study, not only at the level of the individual work by an individual author, but also at the level of groups of medieval literary works by different and unknown authors. These models gauge the tightness and looseness of associations amongst manuscript items in collections, by using a range of terms - "group," "aggregate," and "cluster" - while hybrid terms indicate intermediate forms of associations. "Group" denotes distinct grouping of romances and of nonromances in collections; "aggregate," the loose gathering of romances and nonromances; and "cluster," the loose association of romances only, in collections. Expanding my classification of Isumbras-group manuscripts in chapter 3 to include all fifteen in the database yields the following models (see Table n).21 Manuscripts in the first two categories, "group" and "groupaggregate," show evidence of more planning, whether ascribed to the individual compilers or inherited from an exemplar. "Groupaggregate" (the dominant term precedes the hyphen) here denotes evident grouping of items, combined with the looseness of the "aggregate" category. In the fourth category "aggregate-group, the

in Conclusions Table 11

Models of Composite Literary Structure as Derived from the 15 Manuscripts

Model and Manuscripts

Description

GROUP

Ff.2.38 Lincoln MS

Grouping according to kinds of items, including romances at the end of the manuscript, with contiguity of Earl of Toulous, Eglamour, Triamour, Octavian, and Beves Grouping into romance, religious, and medical books; contiguity of Octavian, Sir Isumbras, Earl of Toulous, (Saint Christopher), Sir Degrevant, and Sir Eglamour

GROUP-AGGREGATE

Auchinleck

Adv. 19.3.1

Ii.4.9

Noticeable grouping of some items, particularly religious legends and romances, including a "transitional" Degare booklet, a Guy booklet, and a romance booklet including Sir Orfeo Grouping of items according to three kinds of booklets; association of the first three booklets by contemporary numbering; rough grouping of kinds of items in the Isumbras booklet Items 1-4 on the Passion; doctrinal/instructional items 5-7 and 15-23, including a "sevens" series (seven deadly sins, seven virtues, etc.)

AGGREGATE

Cotton Galba E.ix Gg.4.27(2) Gonville and Caius 175/96 Laud Misc. 108

Three subsequently joined booklets of varied contents, with Ywain and Gawain next to The Seven Sages in the first booklet Imperfect booklet containing Floris and Blauncheflur, King Horn, and Assumption of Our Lady Anthology of romances and religious works Cumulatively compiled manuscript of saints' lives, Havelok, and King Horn

AGGREGATE-GROUP

Add. 31042 Ashmole 61 Cotton Caligula A.ii Harley 3810/1

Items 1-4 on sacred history, with narrative links; Lydgate items (8-10Q), the three songs (20-2), the two "romances" (23-4), and two debates (25-6) Items 3-8, a homiletic courtesy group including Sir Isumbras, and items 34-41, religious legends and examplary narratives including Sir Orfeo Penitential group including Siege of Jerusalem, Chevalere Assigne, and Sir Isumbras; the "fives" pair of religious poems, and two saints' lives Varied anthology of items including Sir Orfeo, with a noticeable religious cast

CLUSTER

Douce 261

Anthology of romances

112 Rereading Middle English Romance Table 11 (cont'd) Model and Manuscripts

Description

CLUSTER-GROUP

Egerton 2862

Some contiguity according to type (Richard Coeur de Lion, Beves of Hampton), recurring association (Sir Degare, Floris and Blauncheflur), and metre (first booklet couplet, second booklet tail-rhyme)

loosely gathered variety of the mere "aggregate" category predominates, in combination with some grouping that resembles that in the first two categories.22 Some grouping of romances in Egerton 2862 (under "cluster-group") distinguishes it from Douce 261 (in the "cluster" category), whose items, while all romances, together lack the extent of resemblance normal in the group category. "Aggregate" manuscripts are much looser in structure, in all cases but Gonville and Caius 175/96,23 because of production factors: the known additive booklet production of Cotton Galba E.ix and Laud Misc. 108, and the fragmentary state of Gg4.27(2). Extent of grouping in any category may result from planning, availability of exemplars, imitation of orderly exemplars,24 or some combination, but the possible intentional shaping of collections should not be ruled out altogether. The literary shaping of Auchinleck (argued for by Shonk, for example), the relatively planned and homogeneous first section of Harley 3810/1, and the contiguity of similar late items in Ashmole 61 and Rate's alterations to his Orfeo - all of these point to a noticeable intention (though varying in degree) in the shaping of the three contexts of Sir Orfeo. These models of composite literary structure - ranging through group, aggregate, and cluster categories - are not easily abstracted from their concrete manuscript contexts. The different kinds or extents of grouping do nevertheless suggest alternate forms for thinking about medieval literature in additional manuscript contexts or in collections not discussed in this study. I do not mean these models to replace more typical labels used for different kinds of manuscript collections, but heuristically, the models have some advantages over those labels. First, GuddatFigge, for example, classifies manuscript collections according to their contents: mixed miscellanies, religious miscellanies, secular miscellanies (including commonplace books), and romance manuscripts proper.25 Even with her qualifications, these categories beg the question, concerning the problematic religious/secular distinction, to which this study has devoted so much attention (particularly in chapter 3). My models have an inductive advantage: they concentrate qualitatively on shape - group, aggregate, cluster, and so on -

113 Conclusions

by taking cues from layout and decoration first, deferring what I have argued can be premature decisions about content until later. Second, as Theo Stemmler indicates, more familiar terms such as "anthology" and "miscellany" can be used so interchangably as to be ambiguous. Stemmler does provide clearer definitions for anthology ("a careful collection of texts selected as representative specimens of various genres") and for miscellany ("a somewhat arbitrary, casual collection of texts").26 These definitions, however, still leave considerable middle ground, conceptually speaking, which my range of models attempts to cover. One additional advantage of these structural models as applied to new manuscript contexts bears further on the question of genre. I have already argued in chapter 3 that examination of manuscript context can complicate univalent views of individual romances, such as Sir Isumbras, or transform rigid or disputed categories for romances, such as homiletic romance, into a range of possible definitions - more or less religious or heroic/chivalrous, depending on the manuscript version and context examined. I have yet to suggest the aptness of my structural models for understanding multigeneric blocks of works, which combine romances with other kinds of items. The breadth of the models - group, group-aggregate, aggregate, aggregate-group, cluster, and cluster-group - is not only sensitive to a range of ratios of literary shaping or production factors in collections; the models are also flexible with respect to the nature and extent of association in blocks of texts.27 To recall a few examples under the group category in this study, there is the close association of Constance/Eustace romances according to similar plots in the Lincoln MS, and the alternation of edifying and adventurous material in later romances in Ff.2.38. Under the aggregate model, there is the looser association of Orfeo with other edifying legends or exemplary narratives, according to common rhetorical thrust in Ashmole 61, and the mutual subsuming of romances and saints' lives in Gonville and Caius 175/96. And under cluster-group is the loose anthologizing of romances, according to type, recurring association, and metre in Egerton 2862. These models, then, and the manuscript evidence from which they derive, can also prove useful for other manuscript collections: they transcend binary-opposite and univalent generic definitions for romances and other kinds of works, by using more composite definitions of genre. THE RHETORIC OF COMPOSITE STRUCTURE Whether such models are inferred from manuscript contexts, as I have done here, or are used heuristically on new manuscripts, as I

114 Rereading Middle English Romance

argue can be valuable, these decisions about composite structure will result from two processes of reading, by at least two readers. One reader, embedded in the manuscript, is its compiler, whose reading of his exemplars (or reading inherited from his exemplars) we can divine or infer by comparison with other similar existing manuscript collections, and whose shaping of his own collection through accident, exigency of production, and intention - we can discern from manuscript evidence, including physical layout and decoration. The other reader, or rather readers, are of course, ourselves. While drawing on what we know about Middle English romance from modern scholarship, we may also take more or less significant cues from the compiler, and thus expand or qualify our present knowledge in view of manuscript evidence. We may thereby allow the composite shaping of the manuscripts, made apparent from manuscript features such as layout and decoration as well as from variant readings, to produce a persuasive kind of reading of individual romances - a reading not bounded by a focus on single works by single authors. Such a reading places particular romances in constellations of distinct though not separate literary works, often some romances and some other kinds of items, usually by different authors. Thus, romances individually familiar to us mutually realign and redefine themselves in their groupings; they invite us to be moved, persuaded, entertained by exemplary behaviour in a rhythm and range of chivalrous, heroic, and edifying contexts. These two readings, the compiler's and ours, and the manuscript evidence that lies between, define what I have called "the rhetoric of composite structure." This rhetoric consists of a set of relationships that encourages a reading of Middle English romances in their original manuscript contexts - a rereading that is challenging and illuminating because of its multiple, wide-angle focus.

APPENDIX

Lists of Data and Contents for Each Manuscript

This appendix contains data and contents lists for each of the fifteen manuscripts, which are listed in alphabetical order by shelfmark (Additional, Advocates', etc.).1 On each table, below its title, headings for each manuscript feature - item number, opening folio number, and so on - are noted at the lefthand margin. There are three legends below for manuscript features in these tables: the legend for all manuscript features except "Kind of Item" (p. 117); the legend for descriptors for the features, "Title" to "Blank Space" (p. 118); and the legend for "Kind of Item" (pp. 118-19). At the end of the data listed for each manuscrpt, after the line for "Length (in pages)," there is a "Number of Items" entry for the pertinent manuscript. Contents lists that pertain to data listed on each page are found at the bottom of that page. DATA LISTS

Chapter 2 discusses in detail the manuscript features and their values by defining and interpreting them in turn. Data lists below are best used with reference to that chapter. I have already discussed data lists and their relation to figures for manuscript features in chapter 2 (see above, 17-19), but some further comment on how to use the data and contents lists is in order. Each horizontal line in a data list pertains to a manuscript feature, and each set of vertical columns under entries for "Item Number" is for manuscript features in items "i," "2," "3," etc., of

n6 Appendix the pertinent manuscript. Lists may thus be read at least two ways: either top to bottom, to note all manuscript features for each successive item; or left to right, to compare extent of decoration of items, locate scribal signatures, or discern possible clustering of final display script across items, for example. In the case of the first data list for BL Additional MS 31042 ("Thornton"), for example, we may thus read vertically the data for the first item. It is designated by "i" under "Item Number," which corresponds to the first item on the contents list, a portion of Cursor Mundi. The item begins on folio 3r and ends on folio 32r, and is in religious verse ("REL" under "Kind of Item"). For each manuscript feature from "Title" to "Blank Space" there may be two kind of values present: the value for feature itself, and a descriptor, with a blank space intervening. Under "Title" for the first item in Add. 31042, for example, the code ("99") and accompanying descriptor ("9") indicate that the evidence is missing because destroyed (in this case, because folios i and 2 are missing at the beginning of the manuscript). The same missing codes recur for incipit, opening display script, initial, opening prayer, and their descriptors; contemporary numbering and illustration also have missing codes. Scores for extant features (continuing to read down) indicate that the item has a long final prayer, no explicit, a link, and no final display script, blank space, or scribal signature. Under "Medium," "v" confirms that the item is in verse. A score for extent of decoration is inapplicable ("-"), since some values needed to compute this composite score are, as we have seen, missing because of destroyed evidence.2 Finally, the item is fifty-nine pages in length. CONTENTS LISTS 3 Item numbers in contents lists correspond to the numbers listed under "Item Number" in the first line of data lists. Titles within quotation marks are those found for the item in the manuscript. Those not in quotation marks are standard titles (which I do not italicize in contents lists) or useful descriptions for items without titles in the pertinent manuscript. Titles entirely in upper case are for romances. Data lists, but not lists of contents, differentiate between free-standing titles and titles in explicits, incipits, or links. A 3 em dash following groups of items in lists of contents indicates known or possible coincidences between ends of items and of quires; these dashes thus indicate, or suggest, the beginnings of new booklets within manuscripts.4

117 Lists of Contents and Data Lists

In both data and contents lists, part of the same item may sometimes be distinguished (e.g., 4OA and 403). The occasional designations "Q" and "Z" after the same item number are for separate items (counted as such in statistical operations and in the "Number of Items" entry), designations inserted belatedly after a prior commitment to numbering in my data. LEGEND FOR MANUSCRIPT FEATURES IN TABLES Al-15

Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title Incipit

Opening Display Script Initial Opening Prayer Final Prayer Explicit Link/Summary Final Display Script Blank Space Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

(r=recto, v=verso, a=stub) (r=recto, v=verso, a=stub) (see legend on pp. 118-19) (0=none, l=running title, 2=title, 3=long title, 99=destroyed) (0=none, l=incipit, 2=longer incipit, 99=destroyed) (0=none, l=flourishing, 2=some display script and/or decoration, 3=marked display script and/or decoration, 99=destroyed, -=inapplicable) (0=none, l=one- or two-line, 2=three- or four-line, 3=five-line or more, 99=destroyed, -=inapplicable) (0=none, l="Amen" only, 2=short, 3=long, 99=destroyed, -^inapplicable) (0=none, l="Amen" only, 2=short, 3=long, 99=destroyed, -^inapplicable) (0=none, l-explictt, 2-explicit including title, 99=destroyed, -=inapplicable) (-l=final summary, 0=none, l=link, 2=double link, 99=destroyed, -Inapplicable) (0=none, l=flourishing, 2=some display script and/or decoration, 3=marked display script and/or decoration, 99=destroyed, -=inapplicable) (0=none, l=small, 2=medium-sized, 3=blank page or more, 99=destroyed, -^inapplicable) (0=none, l=of folio or page, 2=of items, 99=destroyed) (" "=none, NH=removed from head of item, YH=at head of item, YI=historiated initial, YT=at tail of item, 99=destroyed) (" "=none, YHl=scribe 1 at head of item, YTl=scribe 1 at tail of item, YT2=scribe 2 at tail of item, YXl=scribe 1 at head and tail of item) (P=prose, V=verse, Z=both) (range 0-24, -Inapplicable) (range 1-175, -=inapplicable)

n8 Appendix LEGEND FOR DESCRIPTORS IN TABLES Al-15 9 Missing value ? Uncertain B Blue c Multicoloured F Flourished H Head of item L Link N Black p Probable score Q Space left for initial not filled in R Rubricated s With red decoration T Tail of item u Title with red decoration and in incipit v Rubricated title in incipit x Green Y With yellow decoration LEGEND FOR "KIND OF ITEM" IN TABLES Al-15 ACT Account BAL Ballad BES Bestiary BVM Verse on the B.V. Mary BVP Prose on the B.V. Mary BVX On the B.V. Mary (prose and verse) CRO Chronicle DBR Religious debate DEB Debate DIA Diagram DIE Dietary work ECO On buying and selling land cos Gospel HIS Historical work HNT On hunting HUM Humour KID Work for children LSB List of barons

119 Lists of Contents and Data Lists LOV Love poem MAS On the mass MED Medical work MOR Moral work NON Nonsense POL Political work PRA Prayer PRV Proverb PSA Psalm REL Religious verse (undifferentiated) RLP Religious prose (undifferentiated) RLX Religious prose & verse (undifferentiated) ROM Romance SAL Saint's life SAT Satire SNG Song TAB Table of contents TAL Tale T?L Tale(?) WEA On the weather

Table Al Data and Contents List for BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10Q

3R

32R 32v

33R 50R

50R 66R

66v 79v

80R 81v

82R 94R

94R 96R

96R 96v

97R 97v

REL

REL 0 0

REL

ROM 2

ROM 2H

BVM 999

ROM 2S

POL

2 R

2 F

REL 2 2 1 2R

1

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

32R

99 9 99 9 99 9 999 99 9 3 0 1 0 0 99 99 59

V

0

0 3 0 1 0 0 0

4 2

2 L 0 0 0

3 2 0 0 0 0 V

BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") 1 A section of Cursor Mundi on the enfances of the Virgin and of Christ, and Christ's ministry, f. 3r 2 Discourse between Christ & Man, f. 32r 3 "Passio Domini nostri Ihesu Christi" (Northern Passion), f. 33r 4 "THE SEGGE OF IERUSALEM OFF TYTUS AND VASPASYANE," f. 50r 5 "THE SEGE OFF MELAYNE," f. 66v

YH YTl V

8 35

6 7

2 0 3 0 1 2 2H 2 1 0 YI

1 0 2R 0 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 0

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 3 1 0 0 0 99 99

0 1 2R 0 3 2 0 2 0 0

0 0 2 0 1 1 0

0 0 1 0 0 99 9 99 9 99 9 999 99 9 0

DIE

99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 0 0 0 0 1 99 99

YTl

16 33

V

27

V

4

V

14 25

V

14

V

5

2

V

2

Hymn to our Lady, f. 80r "THE ROMANCE OF DUKE ROWLANDE AND OF SIR OTTUELL OF SPAYNE OFF CHERLLS OF FFRAUNCE," f. 82r

8 Lydgate's "Passionis Cristi Cantus," f. 94r 9 Lydgate's Verses on the Kings of England, f . 96r 10Q Lydgate's Dietary, f. 97r

V

Table Al continued Item Number

lOz

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

97v 97v

97v 97v

lOlv

98R

lOlv lOlv

102R 102v

103R 104R

HOv

104R

110V

NON

MOR 3

REL 0 0 0

PRA

PSA 0

REL 2 0

POL

0 0 0

0 0

1

2R

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 1

p

7 1

BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") lOz Latin tags, f. 97v 11 "A gud shorte songe of this dete This werlde es tournede vp sodownne," f. 97v 12 The Quatrefoil of Love, f. 98r 13 Prayer to the guardian angel, f. lOlv

V

2 R

0 3 0 0 0 0 0

4 8

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

1

0 0

2R

-

99 9 99 9 99 9

999 999 0

V

2

V

PSA

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

0 0 0 0 0 99 99

3

V

0

2 R

0 3 0 0 0 0 0

6 14

HOv

2 0 0 0 0 999 999 99 9 99 9 99 9

0

V

14 Paraphrase of Psalm 51, f. 102r 15 On Psalm 43, f. 103r 16 Lydgate's Virtues of the Mass, f. IMr5 17 "The Rose of Ryse," f. HOv 18 The Three Kings of Cologne, f. lllr 19 "A louely song of wysdome," f. 120r

1

V

18

19

lllR

120R 122R

REL

PRV 2H

119v

99 9

999 999

99 9 99 9

1 2 0 0 0 99 99 18

V

2 1

2x

0 3 0 0 0 1 0

10 5

V

Table Al continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Indpit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

21

20

123R 123v

122v 123R REL 2 0 1

2 R

0 3

1

0 0 0 0

9 2

V

123v 124v

REL 3

0 0

1R

0 3 1 0 0 0 0

6 2

22

125R 163v

REL 2 0 0

2R

REL

2V 2 R 3R 3R

0 0

3R

0 0 0 0

0 2 0 0

2 s

V

163v 168v

2T

3 2

7 3

24

ROM

0 3

1

V

23

14 78

V

3 3 0 0 0 1 0

16 11

V

25

26

169R 176v

176v 181v

DEB 2 0 1 2R

DEB 2H 2 1

0 3 2 0 1 0 0

12 16

2R

0

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

0

V

11

27

BL MS Additional 31042 ("Thornton") 20 "A Song how that Mercy passeth Rightwisnes," f. 122v 21 "A songe how mercy commes bifore the jugement," f. 123r 22 "A songe how that mercy passeth alle thynge," f. 123v

23 "THE ROMANCE OF KING RICHERD THE CONQUEROURE," f. 125r

24 "The Romance of the childhode of Jhesu Christe that clerkes callys Ipokrephum," f. 163v

25 "The parlement of the thre Ages," f. 169r 26 "A Tretys and god schorte refreyte bytwixe Wynnere and Wastoure," f. 176v

V

Table A2 Data and Contents List for NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck")

1

2

3

4

IR 6v

13v

7R

14R 16R SAL

16v

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") 1 Gregorius, f. Ir 2 "THE KING OF TARS," f. 7r 3 Adam and Eve, f. 14r 4 "Seynt Mergrete," f. 16r 5 "Seynt Katerine," f. 21r 6 Owayne Miles, f. 25r

SAL

999

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

2 99

12

ROM 2R 0 2 R 2 B

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

999 2 YH

V

V -

14

999

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

3 0 0 0 0 2 99

5

V

2lR SAL 2R 0 2 R 1B 0

3

1

0 0 0 2

6

7

8

9

10

11

2lR

25R 31v

31v 35R

35R 37R

37v 38v

39R 48R

6lAV

REL

DBR 2 R 0 2 R 1B 0

BVM

REL 0 0 0

24v

SAL 2 R

0

2 R 2 B

3

99 9 99 9 99 9

999 99 9

2

NH

9 10

5

NH V

V -

8

999 999

99 9

999 999 2 1 0 0 0 2 99 14

2 ?

1?

99 9

999 99 9

2

NH V

V -

8

REL

99 9

999 999 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

2 99

5

V

99 9

999 999

ROM

999 999

999 3

999

99 9 99 9 99 9

0 0 1 2

999

99 9

99 9

1S

3

3B

2 ? 99 9 99 9 99 9

2

V

19

7 "The desputisoun bitven the bodi & the soule," f. 31v 8 Harrowing of hell, f. 35r (stub) 9 A Miracle of the Virgin, f. 37v 10 Speculum Gy de Warewyke, f. 39r 11 "AMIS & AMILOUN," f. 48r

48R

V

999 999 999 999 2 99 _ 28

V

Table A2 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

12

13

14

61 AV

65v 69v

70R 72R

BVM 2 R 0 2 R 1 B 0 0 0

REL 2 R 0 2 R 3 B 3

65v

REL

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

3

99 9

0

99 9

0 2 99

9

V

NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") 12 Mary Magdalene, f. 61av6 13 [Anna our] "leuedis moder," f. 65v 14 [On the seuen dedly] "sinnes," f. 70r 15 "The pater noster vndo on englissch," f. 72r 16 The Assumption of Our Lady, f. 72a 17 SIR DEGARE, f. 78r

0 0 2 2

3s 0 0

1s

0 2

8 9

V

V

72AR

78R

84AR

99v

BVM

84AR ROM

TAL

72R

78R

72AR PRA 2R 0 2 R 1B 0

99 99 99 99

999

99 9

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 YH

14 5

18

16

2

NH

17

15

-

V

1

999

2

9 9 9 9

0 999 0 2 99 13

V

99 9

999 99 9

2 B

0 999 999

99 9 99 9 99 9

2

NH

13

V

99 9

999 999 99 9 99 9

999 999 999

20

21

22

104v

100R

105R 105R

105v 107R

107AR

ROM

POL

LSB 0 0

19

99 99 99 99 99

2

1s

0 2S 1 2 99

99 9 99 9

99 99 32

V

9 9 9 9 9

10

V

0 0 0

1B

0 3 0 0 0 0 2

2 1

18 The Seven Sages of Rome, f. 84ar 19 FLORIS AND BLAUNCHEFLUR, f. lOOr

20 The Sayings of the Four Philosophers, f. 105r 21 A list of names of Norman barons, f. 105v 22 GUY OF WARWICK, f. 107a

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2

0 4

146v

ROM

99 9 99 9 99 9

999

99 9

0 0 0 0 0 2 99

p

_ 80

V

Table A2 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

146v 167R

167R 175v

176R 201R

201R 256v

256V 256AV

256AV 259R

259R 260v

261R 262AV

262AV 267v

268R 277v

278R 279R

ROM

ROM

ROM

T?L 2R 0

MOR 2R

BVM 2R 0

ROM

ROM

ROM

2R

ROM 2R 0 2R

3 B

3B

1B

2R 1B

2R 1B

3

0

0 0 0

2R

0

1 B

2 2 1s 1H

0 0 0

3 999 999 lH

99 9 99 9 2

0 3 1 0 0 0 2

YI

YH

3 42

V

18

V

12 51

NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck")

V

2R 0 2R

3 0 0 0 0 0 2

2R 1B 0

99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 99

NH

8 112

V

YH

-

1

V

99 9 99 9 999 99 9 1 999 0 99 9 0 2 99 _

V

6

0

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 2

3 0 0 0 2 2 NH

8 4

2 R

NH V

V -

4

99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 0 0 1 0 0 2 99 11

V

23 GUY OF WARWICK (STANZAIC), f. 146v

29 "Hou our leuedi saute was ferst founde," f. 259r

25 "SIR BEUES OF HAMFTOUN," f. 176r 26 "OF ARTHOUR & OF MERLIN," f. 201r

31 ROLAND AND VERNAGU, f. 2623V

24 "REINBRUN GIJ SOME OF WARWDCE," f. 167r

27 "The wench that [lou]ed [a ki]ng," f. 256v 28 "[A pennyworth [of wi]tte" (How a Merchant Did His Wife Betray), f. 256a

30 "LAY LE FREINE," f. 261r

32 "OTUEL A KNIGHT," f. 268r 33 KYNG ALISAUNDER, f. 278r

2R

0

2R

3 B

0 999 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 2 NH

20

V

ROM

99 9 999 999 99 9 99 9 2 1 0 0 1 2 99 _ 3

V

Table A2 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42

43

44

279v 279v

280R 280R

280R 280v

281R 299AV

299AV 303R

303R 303v

304R 317R

317v 323v

324R 325v

326R 327v

328R 334v

REL

PSA 2R

ROM

REL 0 0

CRO

ROM

99 9

MOR

2 R

ROM 2R

POL

2T 2R

0 2R

2R 2 B

2R

DEB

99 9 99 9 99 9 1B

0 99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 99 NH V 1

999 99 9 99 9 99 9 999 3 0 0 0 0 99 99 1

V

0

2R 1B -

3 0 0 0 1 99 NH

8 2

ROM

0

99 9 3B

0 999 999 999 99 9 99 9 2 NH

V

V -

38

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 2 1s 0 1 1 99 99 8

V

0

3R

2 B

0 0 0 0 0 2 2

3c 0 3 2s 0

3s 1 2

1B 0

999 999 99 9 99 9 99 9 2 NH

4 2

V

24 27

V

V -

13

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 999 3 1s 0 1 2 2 99

4

0

3 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 999 2

37 SIR TRISTREM, f. 281 r

38 SIRORFEO, f. 299a 39 The Four Foes of Mankind, f. 303r

V

V -

4

40 "Liber Regum Anglic" (The Short Metrical Chronicle of England), f. 304r 41 "HORN CHILDE & MAIDEN RIMNILD," f. 317v 42 Praise of women, f. 324r 43 "KING RICHARD," f. 326r 44 "The Simonie," f. 328r

0

3B

0 99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 99

YH

44

NLS MS Advocates' 19.2.1 ("Auchinleck") 34 The Thrush and the Nightingale, f. 279v 35 The Sayings of Saint Bernard, f. 280r 36 "Dauid the king" (paraphrase of ps. 51), f. 280r

2R

-

14

V

Table A3 Data and Contents List for NLS MS Advocates' 19.3.1 2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

IR

7v

27v

28R

10R SAT

lOv lOv

llR

7R HUM

29v

30R 47R

48R 56v

57R 58v

59R 59v

60R 60v

NON

ROM

KID

SAL

ROM 2

MAS 1 0 0

99 9 0 1

REL

NON

2 R

2R

1

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NLS MS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 1 "The Hunttyng of the Hare," f. Ir 2 Mock sermon, f. 7v 3 "The mone in the mornyng merely rose," f. lOv 4

"SIR GOWTHER," f. llr

5 "Stans puer ad mensam," f. 28r

2 0 0

2 R

0 2

1s

-1 R 3R

1 1

13 13

0 0 0

3R

3 1 0 0 0 0

1

V

6 6

p

2 0 0

1R

0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2 T 99 9 99 9 2 R

2 3 2 -1 1 0 1

3 0 0

1R

0 2 1 0 1 0 1

4 1

V

34

8 4

1R

0 0

2R

1 5 2 R

3 1

YTl V

2 2 0

V

YTl P

12 35

0 0

3 2

1R

0

3R

1

0

YTl V

13 18

6 "The maryage of seynt Katheryne," f. 30r 7 8 9 10

"SIR YSUMBRAS," f. 48r "The masse," f. 57r Nativity carol, f. 59r Nonsense verse, f. 60r

0 2 1 0 1 0 0

8 4

V

1R

0 2 1 0 1 2 0

2

0 0 0

1R

0 3 1 0

1

3 0 V

YTl V

5 2

Table A3 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

61v 61v

61v 61v

61v 61v

62R 62R

63R 64v

64v 64v

65R 65v

66R 67v

68R 84R

84v 86v

MOR

MOR 0 0

MOR

HNT

HNT

MED 2 0 0

BVM 2

POL

ROM 1

KID

2 0 0

1R

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

4 1

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

1

NLS MS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 11 "Deceyte" (one stanza from Lydgate's Fall of Princes), f. 61v 12 Proverbs, f. 61v 13 Rhyming proverbs, f. 61v 14 "A tryppe off Deere," f. 62r 15 Hunting terms, f. 63r 16 "For a malaundre," f. 64v

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

0 1

2 S

0 3S 1s 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

V

10

1

p

0 0 0 1s 0 0 0 0 0

1 0

2 4

p

0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0

2 1

2 R

0 0 2s 0 0 p

10 2

17 "Aue regina coelorum," f, 65r 18 "That pes mey stond," f. 66r 19 "SIR AMADACE," f. 68r 20 The Lytyll Childrens Book, f. 84v

V

2 0 0

1R

3

3R

1s

0

3R

0 0

YTl V

11 4

99 9 99 9 99 9 999 1 0 0 0 1 0

-

33

V

0 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 0

YTl V

3 5

Table A3 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

21

22

23

24

86v 86v

97R 89R

89v 90v

MED

PSA

BVM

9lR 9lR REL 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

p

1

NLS MS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 21 Medical recipe (inserted later), f. 86v 22 Maydestone's paraphrase of Psalm 51, ff. 97, 87r, 89r 23 "Ecce Ancilla Domini," f. 89v 24 Ay Merci God and graunt merci, f. 91r 25 "Servis is no heritage," f. 91r 26 Deo Gracias, f. 93r

0 0 0 0 2 ? 0 0 0 2 0

0 -

V

2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0

3 3

0 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0

V

4 1

V

25

26

27

28

29

30

9lR

93R 94R

94v 95v

95v 96R

96v 96v

98R 157v

MOR

REL 0 0 0

REL 2 0

SAT

RLP 0 0

REL 2 0

92v 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

3 4

V

lQ 0 0 1 0 0 1 0

0 lQ 0 0 1 0 1 0 0

V

YT2 V

3 3

7 3

0 0 0

1

0 0

1

0

1

0 0

YT2 V

5 2

27 "Verbum caro factum est," f. 94v 28 Omnis caro fenum est (satirical carol), f. 95v 29 Indulgence, f. 96v 30 "Tundale," f. 98r

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

1

0

2R

3 3

2s 0

3s 1 0

p

YTl V

14 120

Table A3 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

158R 170v

170v 173R

173v 173v

173v 173v

174R 175R

175R 175R

175R 175R

175v 175v

176R 185v

185v 185v

REL

REL 0 0 0 0 1

SNG

ACT

REL 0 0 0 1

MOR 0 0 0 1

REL 0 0

DIA

BVM

MED 0

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 3 0 0 0 0 0

26

V

0 0 0 0 0

0 6

V

NLS MS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 31 Lychefelde's Complaint of God, f. 158r 32 A lovesong to Jesus, f. 170v 33 Song fragment, f. 173v 34 Memorandum on household expenses (added later), f. 173v 35 Lamentacio peccatoris, prol. to The Adulterous Falmouth Squire, f. 174r

0

0 0

1

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 1

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

1

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

p

0

1

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0

0

0

1

1

0 0 0 0

2 0 0

0 0

1 F

0 3 2 0 1 0 0

1

2 2 0 0 0 0 0

YT2

2 3

V

2 1

V

2 1

V

-

1

p

8 20

V

36 Four things which make a man fall from reason, f. 175r 37 Precepts in -ly, f. 175r 38 A Guidonian hand, f. 175v 39 Lydgate's "The circumsision," f. 176r 40 Prayer against bleeding (added later), f. 185v

2 1

p

Table A3 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

186R 202v

203R 210R

210v

21 lv 211v

212R 212v

213R 216R

216V 216v

BVM

BVM

BVM 0 0

MED

WEA

REL 0

SAT 2

2

0 0

1

2 F

3 3 2 0 0 2 0

8 34

2 0

V

1Q 3 0 0 0 0 1 0

6 15

V

211R

0 0 0 3 0 0 0

1

0

0 2

V

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0

1

2 0 0 1 0 999 999

99 9 99 9 99 9

0

p

2

p

0 0 0 0 3 2 0 2 1 0

6 7

1

0 V

47

NLS MS Advocates' MS 19.3.1 41 Lydgate's "The Ephyphanye," f. 186r 42 Lydgate's "The purificacion marie," f. 203r (items 39, 41, and 42 are Lydgate's Lyfe of Oure Lady, books iv, v, and part of vi) 43 Dialogue between the B.V. Mary and her child,7 f. 210v 44 Prescription (added later), f. 211v

0 -

45 Weather forecasts, f. 212r 46 "Trentalle sancti gregorii," f. 213r 47 "Deus creator omnium" (added later, "musical score of a farced Kyrie"8), f. 216v

_ p

1

Table A4 Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 1

2

IR

5v

5R SAL 2

6R REL 0 0 0 1

Item Number Opening Folio NumberClosing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 1 "Seynt Ewstas," f. Ir 2 Lydgate's Rammeshorne, f. 5v 3 A father instructs his son, f. 6r 4 A good wife instructs her daughter, f. 7r 5 "ISOMBRAS," f. 9r

0 0 1Q 0 3 2 0 3 1 0

12 9

V

0

1Y

0

0

1Y

0 0

4 2

V

3 6R

5

6

7

8

9

10

9R

16v

17v 19v

20R 21v

21v 21v

21v 21v

KID

KID 0

MOR 0 0

ECO

4 7R

6v

8v

16v

KID 0 0

KID 0 0 1 1

ROM 2

0

1Y

0 2 0 0 2 0 0

YT YTl V

6 2

6 7 8 9 10

0 3 0 0 2 0 0

0 0 1Q 0 1 0 0 2 0 1

YT YTl V

YT YTl V

8 4

8 16

17R REL 0 0 0

0 0 2 1 1

1

0 0 1 1 3 1 0 0 2 0 1

0 0 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 1

YT YTl V

YT YTl V

YT YTl V

2 0

8 2

8 5

6 4

0

1Y

0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2 1

0 1 1

1Y

0 0 0 0 0 0

1

V

The ten commandments (from Speculum Christiani), f. 16v Lydgate's Stans puer ad mensam, f. 17v Dame Curtasy's moral instructions, f. 20r Latin tag, f. 21v Twelve points regarding the purchase of land, f. 21v

5 1

V

Table A4 continued Item Number

llA

llB

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

21v 21v

21v 21v

22R 22R

22R 22v

22v 22v

22v 23R

23R 26R

26R 26v

26v 27v

27v 38v

MOR 0

MOR 0 0 0

PRA 0

PRA 0 0

REL 0

BVM

DEB 0 0 0

PRA

ROM

1Y

3Y

REL 0 0 0 1

0 2 0 0 2 0 1

0 0 1 3 3 2 0 0 2 0 1

YT YTl V

YT YTl V

0

1Y 1Y

0 0

0

1

1

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

0

1

0

0 0 0 0 1

1Y

0 0 2Y 0

1

YT

4 1

V

2

V

1

Bodl Lib. MS Ashmole 61 11 Two Latin verse passages, f. 21v 12 Night prayer, f. 22r 13 Morning prayer, f. 22r 14 Repetition of first two stanzas of item 6 (somewhat altered), f. 22v

8 1

3Y

-

V

15 16 17 18

YTl V

10 2

0 0

1Y

0 0 0 0 0 0 1

2 1

0 0 0

1Y

0 0 0 0

2 2

YTl V

YT YTl V

1Y

0

1

V

3 0 0 2 0 1

0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 1

V

6 7

6 2

6 3

Orison to the B.V. Mary (from Speculum Christiani), f. 22v The debate of the carpenter's tools, f. 23r Eucharist hymn, f. 26r Legend of the cross (from Handlyng Synne), f. 26v

19 THE EARL OF TOLOUS, f. 27v

12 23

Table A4 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

38v 59v

59v 62R

62R 65v

66R 67v

67v 73R

73R 78v

78v 83R

83R 87v

105v

87v

106R 106R

106R 107R

ROM 2 0 1

BAL 0

BVM 0 0

99 9

REL

ROM 0 0 0

REL

REL

REL 0

REL 2 0 0 1

REL

BVM 2

3 2 3 1 0 2 0 1

YTl V

14 43

0 0

0

1Y

0 2 0 0 0 0 1

1

0

99 9 99 9 99 9

999 99 9

YT

1 99

V

V

2 6

8

Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61

20 "LYBEUS DYSCONUS," f. 38v

21 Sir Corneus, f. 59v 22 Miracle of the Virgin, f. 62r 23 Tale of an incestuous daughter, f. 66r 24 SIR CLIGES, f. 67v

25 The founding of the feasts of All Saints and All Souls,9 f. 73r

999 999

99 9 99 9

1Q 0 1 0 0 1 0

2 0

1

2 3 3 0 0 1 0 1

0 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 1 0 1

0

1

1

0 2 1 0 0 0 1

0 3 0 0 1 0 1

2 Y

0 1Y 1Y

YT

YT

YT

YT

YT

YT

0 0 0 0 0 0 1 YT

V

V

V

V

V

V

V

3 0 0 1 0 99

1

-

4

26 27 28 29 30

4 12

10

12

8

10

4

10

6 37

6 1

Grosseteste's Castle of Love, f. 78v Ypotis, f. 83r "Passio Domini nostri" (Northern Passion), f. 87v "Testamentum Domini" (Short Charter of Christ), f. 106r "Lamentacio beate marie," f. 106r

0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 1

YTl V

6 3

Table A4 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

107R

108R

108R 119v

120R 128R

128R 135v

136R 138v

138v 144v

145R 150v

150v

151R

156v 157R

157R 161v

DIE 2 Y

PSA 2Y

0

REL 0 0

1Y 1Y 1

3 3

REL 0 0 0 1 0 1Y 0 0 2 Y

REL 0 0 1 1Y 0 2 Y

REL 2 Y 0 1Y 1Y 0 1 0 0

1

1

3 0 0 2 0 1

ROM 2 Y 0 1Y 1Y 0 3Y 2 Y 0 2 Y

TAL 0

1Y 0

REL 2 Y 0 1Y 1Y 0

YTl V

YTl V

0

0 0

2 Y

0

2 Y

0

1

10 3

0 0

0 0

1

V

YTl V

6 24

0

1

0 1

3 0 0 2 0 1

YT YTl V

YT YTl V

2 Y

0

2 Y

8 17

10 16

0

YTl V

6 6

0 0

2 Y

0

8 13

SAL 2 Y 0 1Y 1Y 0

10 12

151R REL 1 0 0 1 0 0

0 0 0 0

0

1

1

3 2

V

42

Bodl. Lib. MS Ashmole 61 31 "The gouernans of man" (Lydgate's Dietary), f. 107r 32 Maydestone's "Septem Psalmi Penitential[es]," f. 108r 33 "Stimulus consciencie minoris," f. 120r 34 "The Stasyons of Jerusalem," f. 128r 35 The Adulterous Falmouth Squire, f. 136r 36 Legend of the resurrection, f. 138v

37 38 39 40 41

156R

"Margaret," f. 145r On the seven deadly sins, f. 150v "KYNG ORFEW," f. 151r "Vanyte," f. 156v King Edward and the Hermit, f. 157r

12 11

V

2 1 1

YTl V

10 2

0 0

1Y

3 999 999

99 9 99 9 99 9

1 99

10

V

Table A5 Data and Contents List for BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii

1

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii 1 "Sussan," f. 3r

2 "EGLAMOUR OF ARTAS," f. 5v

3 Four medical recipes (added later), f. 13v

3R 5R REL 1Y 0 0

99 9 99 9 0 1Y 0 2Y 0 0

5

V

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

5v

13v 13v

15v

14R

15v 16v

22R

17R

22v 35R

35v 42v

42v 57R

57v 58R

KID 0 0

DIE 0 0

MOR 1Y 0 0

ROM

ROM

2 S

ROM 2H 1S

POL

2 S

3R 2R

3R

13R ROM 2 Y 0 2 Y

0 3 2

2 Y

0

2 Y

3 0

12 16

V

MED 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 p

0 4

1

1Q

0 0

0

1R

0

2R

2 R

2 R

2R

1R

0 0 V

5 3

0 0

V

8 11

V

0

0 0

14 26

V

0 2 s 1s 0 3 2 0 2 0 0

14 15

V

2s 0 2 s 0 0

2 s 0 3 0

0 0

0 0

1 0

3R

15 30

V

3R

12 2

6 "The chorle" (Lydgate's Churl and Bird) , f. 17r 7 "OCTOUIAN IMPERATOR" (SOUTHERN OCTAVIAN), f. 22v 8 "LAUNFAL MILES," f. 35v 9 TLVRTTATTC '' f /IO,, I DE.rt.LO rVTCT" L/OV^wi^u J/ A. 1Z.V 10 "O mors quam amara est memoria tua" (elegy for Cromwell's tomb), f. 57v /7

4 Lydgate's Stans puer ad mensam, f. 14r 5 Lydgate's Dietary, f. 15v

0 0 0 0

0 2 s 1s 2 3

1/~\KTT TC

f

V

Table A5 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

58v 58v

59R 64R

64v 65R

65v 66v

67R 67v

68R 68R

68v 68v

69R 69R

69v 70R

70v 70v

REL 0 0

REL 1Y 0 0

PRA 2 Y

MED 2 Y

MOR

REL

RLP

REL 0 0

1s

2 Y 1 S

1R

1s

2 2

2S 0 2s 0 0 0

REL 2 S 0

2 Y

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1S

1R

1R

0 0 0 0

0 0 3

1

1

-

1R

0 0 0 0

0

0

2 R

2R

0 0

V

1

BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii 11 The ten commandments, f. 58v 12 Lydgate's "The nyghtyngale," f. 59r 13 Lydgate's "Deus in nomine tuo salvum me fac," f. 64v 14 "For pestilence," f. 65v 15 "For the better abyde," f. 67r

0

6 11

V

0 0

13 2

V

16 17 18 19 20

2

0 0

0 1s 0 0

13 3

p

2 s 0 2S 1s 0 2 1R

0

2 R

0 0

13 2

V

2 s 0 0 3

1R

0

0

0

1R

2 R

2 R

0 0

11 1

V

0 0

11 1

V

"All way fond to say the best," f. 68r "Thonke god of all," f. 68v "Make amendes," f. 69r Form of confession, f. 69v Orison to Christ of the Wounds, f. 70v

0 0

11 1

V

0 0 0

2Y

2 0 0 0 0 0

4 2

0 0 -

2 Y

0 0

1Y

0 0 p

2 1

V

Table A5 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

7lR

77R 79R

79v 83R

83R 86v

86v 88R

88R 88v

89R 89R

89R

91v 95R

REL 2 Y 0 1Y 0 0 2 1Y 0 2 Y 0

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0 2 1Y 0 2 Y 0

REL 2H 1Y 2Y 1Y 0 0 2 Y 0 2 Y

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0

MOR 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0

PRA 0 0 0

9lR 9lR BVM 0 0

1Y

2 Y

1Y 0

3Y

76V

ROM 2 Y 0 2Y Y

1

3 3Y 2Y 0 2Y 0 0

14 12

V

BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii

21 "EMARE," f. 71r 22 23 24 25

"Carta Jhesu Christi" (The Long Charter of Christ), f. 77r "Ypotis," f. 79v "The Stacyonys of Rome," f. 83r "Trentale Sancti gregorij," f. 86v

0

9 5

V

0

13 8

V

26 27 28 29 30

0 0

15 8

3 0 0

V

11 4

V

3 0

1

0

16 2

V

1Y

-

0 0 0 0

3Y

0 0 0 0 0

2 1

9lR REL 2 Y

0 0

3Y

0 0 V

8 5

V

"Vrbanitas," f. 88r Prayer of thanksgiving for the Redemption, f. 89r "Quindecim signa," f. 89r A song of love to the B.V. Mary,10 f. 91r "Owayne myles," f. 91v

0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0

0 1

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0 2

2 0

2 Y

0 0 V

14 8

V

Table A5 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

31

32

33

34

95v 107v

107v 108R

108R 108v

HOv

125R

CRO 2 Y

ROM 2 Y 0 2 Y

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y

0 0 3

2 Y

0

2 Y

0 0

12 25

V

41

BL MS Cotton Caligula A.ii 31 "Tundale," f. 95v 32 "Veni coronaberis," f. 107v 33 "Myn owene woo," f. 108r 34 "Cronica" (extended by later hands), f. 109r 35 "THE SEGE OF JERUSALEM," f. lllr 36 "CHEUELERE ASSIGNS," f.

125v

BVM 1Y 0 0 1Y 1Y 0 2 Y

0 0

8 2

REL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0 3 1Y 0 2 Y 1

0

V

13 2

V

109R

0

2 Y 1Y

0 0

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

lllR

125v 129v

130R 134R

134v 134v

135R 135R

135v 137R

137v 139v

ROM 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0 0 1Y 0 1Y 0 0

ROM 2 Y 0 2 Y

REL

BVM

2 S

2 S

1Q 0

1Y

3Y 1Y

1Y

2 Y

0

0 0

11 4

p

0

0 0

13 29

V

11 9

V

0 3 3

1Y

0

2 Y

0 0

11 9

V

0 2 S 0 0 3s 1R 0 2 R

0 0

11 1

V

0

2s 1s

0 -

2

1R 0 2 R

0 0

13 1

SAL 2 Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0

V

1Y

0

1Y

0 0

11

V

4

37 "ISUMBRAS," f. 130r 38 Lydgate's "Quinque wlnera," f. 134v 39 "Quinque Gaudia," f. 135r 40 "Jerome," (from The South English Legendary), f. 135v 41 "Eustache" (from The South English Legendary), f. 137v Note: Ff. 140 and 141 are blank.

SAL 2Y 0 2 Y 1Y 0

999 999 99 9 99 9 999 0

_ 5

V

Table A6 Data and Contents List for BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

3R 3R HIS

25R

4R

25v 48v

48v 49R

49R 50v

50v

51v 51v

51v 51v

52R 57v

57v 66v

TAL

REL 0 0 0 2 B

POL

REL 0 1R 3R 2 B 0 0

REL 0 1R 3R 2 R 0 0 0 0 1 1

HIS

COS

1R 3R 2 B

1R 3R 2R

3Y

2 Y

2 Y

2 Y

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix

I 2 3 4 5 6

The Siege of Calais (7 lines only; see item 17), f. 3r "YWAINE AND GAWAIN," f. 4r "The proces of the seuyn sages," f. 25v On the transitoriness of the world, f. 48v "Prophecies of Merlin," f. 49r "Narracio de domini denario" (Sir Peny), f. 50v

2v

1

0 2 0 0 3 0

1

ROM 2V 1R 3R 3C

3 3S 2R 0 3R 1 0

V

23 43

V

2v

1R 3R 2 B 0

2 S

1 0

2 s

0 0

17 47

V

0 3 0 0 0 0 0

4 2

V

2v

1R 3R 2 R

0 0 2 s 0 2 s 0 0

19 4

v

5lR MOR

2u 1s 2s 3s 0 3s 0 0 1s 0 0

15 2

v

0

1

0 0 0

11 1

0

V

13

V

1

7 On Christ's mercy from the Cross, f. 51v 8 Also on Christ's mercy from the Cross, f. 51v 9 Poems by Laurence Minot, f. 52r 10 "Euangelium Nicodemi," f. 57v

2v

3 0 0 0 0

17 12

2v

0

0 0

1

0 V

17 19

V

Table A6 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

15

BL MS Cotton Galba E.ix 11 Not all old things are bad (added later), f. 66v 12 A prophecy for 1560 (added later), f. 66v 13 Two parts of the Book of Penance, f. 67rn 14 "Pater Noster qui es in celis," f. 73v12 15 "Pryk of conscience," f. 76r 16 On the properties of a horse, f. 113v13 17 "The sege off calays," f. 113v

13

14

15

16

17

67R 73v

73v 75R

76R 113R

113v 113v

113v 114v

REL

REL 2

REL 0 0 0

BES

HE 2H 1

0 0 0

0 2

2 B

2R

3Y

3Y

0

0 0

2 Y

0 0

8 14

V

0

0 0

2R

0

2 Y

3 0

14 4

2c 3 3

V

3R

2 0

12 75

V

0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 1

0 1Q 0 1 2 0 1 2 0 V

9 3

V

Table A7 Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Douce 261 Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

2

1

25v

15R

26R 48v

ROM

ROM

ROM

8R

3s 2 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 0

99 9 999 999 99 9 99 9 3 2 0 2 1 0

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 3 2 0 2 0 0

999 99 9 99 9 999 2 2 0 3 1 0

YH

YT

YT

YT

V

V

"SYR EGLAMOURE OF ARTOYS," f. 26r

2T

V

V

-

-

-

14

14

22

46

1 "THE HYSTORYE OF THE VALYAUNTE KNYGHT SYR ISENBRAS," f. Ir 2 "THE TREATYSE OF SYR DEGORE," f. 8r 3 "THE JEASTE OF SYR GAWAYNE," f. 15r 4

2 T

-

4

Bodl. Lib. MS Douce 261

4

14v

1R

7v ROM 0 1 0

3

Table A8 Data and Contents List for BL MS Egerton 2862

1

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

IR

44v ROM 1 0

99 9 99 9 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 0

88

V

2 45R 96v ROM 2

0

1

2Q 0 99 9 99 9 999 999 999 0

104

V

6

BL MS Egerton 2862 1 "KYNG RICHARD," f. Ir 2 "BEUOUS OF HAMPTON," ff. 45r-94v, 96 3 "SIR DEGARRE," ff. 97, 95 (no values on data list for this fragment) 4 "FFLORENCE AND BLANCHEFLOURE," f. 98r 5 "THE BATELL OF TROYE," f. lllv 6

"AMIS AND AMYLION," f. 135r

7

"SIR EGLEAMOURE," f. 148r

4

5

6

7

98R

lllv

lllR ROM 1 0

134R

135R 147v

148R 148v

ROM 2 0 1

ROM

99 9 99 9 99 9 0 0 0 0 0 0

-

27

V

ROM

2T 0 0 2Q

0 0 2 0 2 3 0

12 46

V

2Q 0 1 0 0 0 1 0

8 26

V

2 0 1 3Q 3

99 99 99 99

9 9 9 9

999 0

2

V

Table A9 Data and Contents List for CUL MS Ff.2.38 Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

1

2

3R 6R REL 2x 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 3 2 1 0 1 0

6R 10R REL 2H 1 0 2R 3 3 2 1 0 0 0

7

v

9 9

v

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

10R

14v 19R

19R 20v

20v 21v

28R 31v

31v 32R

32R 32R

32R 32v

32v 32v

REL 2H 0 2 2R

REL 2H 0

14v REL 2H

1 0

2 R

0 0 2 1 0 1 0

9 10

v

CUL MS Ff.2.38 1 Lychefelde's "The compleynt of god/' f. 3r 2 "The ix lessons of dyryge whych ys clepyd pety joob," f. 6r 3 "The prouerbis of Salamon," f. lOr 4 "The markys of medytacyouns," f. 14v 5 "xij profytes that men may gete in sufferyng of bodely anger," f. 19r

REL 2H

1 0 2R 3 0 2 1 0 0 0

9 10

V

6 7 8 9 10 11

REL 2H

1 0 2R 3 3 2 1 2 0 0 V

13 4

REL 2H

1 3 3R 0 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 0

3

V

REL 2T

99 9 99 9 999 99 9 3 2 1 2 0 0

8

V

BVM 2H

1 3 3R

2 1 2 0 0 V

21 2

REL 2H

0 2 2R 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

10 1

V

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

10 2

V

"The mirrour of vices & of vertues which also ys clepid the seuene ages," f. 20v Thomas Brampton, "The seuene salmes," f. 28r "A salutacion of oure lady," f. 31v "The x commaundementis of almyghty god," f. 32r "The vij werkis of merci bodili," f. 32r "The vij werke of merci gostli," f. 32v

2

2 R

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

10 1

V

Table A9 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

32v 32v

32v 32v

32v 32v

32v 33R

33R 33v

33v 33v

33v 35R

35R 35v

35v 37R

37R 38R

38R 40R

REL 2

REL 2H 0 2 0

REL 2H 0

REL 2

RLP 2H

RLP 2H 0

RLP 0

2 3

SAL 2H

2

0 3

SAL 2H 1

SAL 2H

3

RLP 2H 0

3

0 3

2R

2 R

2R

2R

3R

3R

0 2

2R

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

10

1

2

2 R

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0

1

0 0 0 V

6 1

V

10 1

CUL MS Ff.2.38 12 "The v bodyly wyttis," f. 32v 13 "The v goostly wyttys," f. 32v 14 "The vij deedly synnes," f. 32v 15 "The vij vertues contrarie to the vij dedli synnes," f. 33v 16 "The vij articlis of the beleeue," f. 33r 17 "The vij sacramentis schortly declarid of seynt Edmonde of Pounteneye," f. 33v

V

0 2

1R

0 3 0 1 0 0 0

8 2

V

0 2

2R

0 0 0 2 0 0 0

10 2

p

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

12 1

p

0 2 0 1 0 0 0

12 4

P

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

10 2

p

0 2 0 -1 0 0 0

12 4

p

0 2 0 1 0 0 0

15 3

0 2

0 P 99 9 0P

0 0

p

14 5

18 "A tretice of thre arowis that schullen be schett on domesday ageynste them that schullen be dampnedd," f. 33v 19 "The viij tokenes of mekenes," f. 35r 20 "The life of marye mawdelyn," f. 35v 21 "The lyfe of seynte margaret," f. 37r 22 "The life of seynt thomas," f. 38r

p

Table A9 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

40R 45R

45R 47v

47v 50v

50v 53R

53R 54R

54R 55R

55R 55v

55v 56R

56R 57v

57v 59R

59R 63R

BVM

REL 0 0

3

REL 0 0

MOR 0 0

REL

0 2

BVM 0

3

REL 2H 0 3

MOR 0 0

3P 2R

REL 2H 0 3

BVM 0

0

SAL 2H 0

2 R

1R

2R

3R

2R

2R

2 R

2R

3R

2 T

3 3 2 1 0 0 0

12 11

V

0 3 0 1 0 0 0

12 6

0 0

0

1

0 0 0 V

CUL MS Ff.2.38 23 The Assumption of the Virgin, f. 40r 24 "The lyfe of seynt Kateryn," f. 45r 25 "The chartur of criste," f. 47v 26 "The xv tokenys before the day of dome," f. 50v 27 "How the goode man taght hys sone," f. 53r 28 "A good ensaumple of a lady that was in dyspeyre," f. 54r

10 7

V

2 3 0 1 0 0 0

12 6

V

29 30 31 32 33

3

0 2 0 1 0 0 0

12 3

V

3 3 0 0 0 0 0

10 3

V

0 3 0 0 1 0 0

10 2

V

0 2

2

0 1 0 0 1 0 0

10 2

V

0 0 0 1 0 0 0

8 4

V

3

0 3 0 1 2 0 0

16 4

V

A Lament of the Blessed Virgin Mary,14 f. 55r The Lamentation of the Blessed Virgin, f. 55v The Adulterous Falmouth Squire (without prologue), f. 56r "How a merchande dyd hys wyfe betray," f. 57v "A gode mater of the marchand and hys sone," f. 59r

0 0 2

1R

0 2 0 1 0 1 0

6 9

V

Table A9 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

34

35

36

37

38

39

63R 70v

7lR

79R

79v 90R

102v

90R

102v 134R

156v

ROM 2H 0

ROM 2H 1

ROM 2H 1

ROM 0 0

ROM 0 0 1

TAL

2R

2R

2R

2 R

2 R

2R

3

3 2 2 1 3 0 0

20 16

V

3

2 2 2 1 3 0 0

21 17

V

3s 2 2 1 0 0 1 0

13 22

V

2

2 2 0 0 0 1 0

8 26

0

3 0 0 0 1 0 V

6 64

V

134R

0 0 0

0 2 0 0 0 2 0

4 46

V

40A

40B

41

42

43

161R

231R

231v 239v

239v 254R

254R 257v

257v 261v

ROM

ROM

ROM

ROM 0 0

ROM 0 0 1 2R

0 0 2

2R

0 3 2 0 0 2 0

8 141

0 0 2

2 T

0

3R

0 3 0 0 0

1

10 17

V

44

CUL MS Ff.2.38 34 "THE ERLE OF TOLOUS," f. 63r 35 "SYR EGYLLAMOURE OF ARTAS," f. 71r 36 "SYR TRYAMOWRE," f. 79v 37 OCTAVIAN (NORTHERN OCTAVIAN), f . 90r 38 BEVES OF HAMPTON, f. 102v

39 The Seven Sages of Rome, f. 134r

40A 40B 41 42 43

2

1

2 2 0 2 1 0

0 V

1

2R

GUY OF WARWICK, f . 161r HERAUD, f. 231v "LE BONE FFLORENCE OF ROME," f. 239v ROBERT OF SICILY, f . 254r SIR DEGARE , f. 257v

14 30

2 R

0 3 0 0 0

999

99 9 99 9 99 9

1

0

0 V

8 8

0

99 9

V

9

V

Table A10 Data and Contents List for CUL MS Gg.4.27 (Part 2) Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

3

CUL MS Gg.4.27(2) 1

2

3

6R 13R ROM

13v 13v BVM

2R

2R

0

0

3R 2 B

3R 2 B

1

FLORIS AND BLAUNCHEFLUR, f. lr

2 "HORN," f. 6r 3 "Assumpcion de nostre dame," f. 13v

1R

5v ROM

99 9 99 9 0 99 9 999 2s 1s 0 3s 0 0

10

V

0 2

1s

0

3s 0 0

19 15

V

3 99 9 999 99 9 99 9 99 9 0

1

V

Table All Data and Contents List for Gonville and Caius College MS 175/96 Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

1R

49v 54R

54R 59v

59v 60v

60v 66R

66R 78v

78v 78v

ROM 0 1R 3R 2 R 2

ROM

SAL

REL 2H

ROM 0 0

ROM

RLP 0 1S 1S

49v

3s

1s

0 3s 0 0

18 98

V

2 T 1S 1S 1S

2 3 2 s 0 1s 0 0

11

V

10

0 1s 2 s 2 s 3 3s 1s 0 2 s 0 0

14 12

V

2 s

1s 1s

0 3 0 0 1 0 0

10 3

V

0 2 3 3 1 0 0 0 0

5 12

V

2u 2 s 3s 2 s 0 3 0 0 1s 0 0

16 26

V

2 s 0 999 999 999 999 999 0

_ 1

p

7

Gonville & Caius College MS 175/96 1

"UITA RICARDI REGIS PRIMI," p. 1/f. lr15

2 "YSUMBRAS," p. 98/f. 49v 3 "Vita sancte katerine virginis," p. 107/f. 54r 4 "Matutinas de cruce in anglicis uerbis transpositis," p. 118/f. 59v

5 6

7

ATHELSTAN, p. 120/f. 60v "BEFFS DE HAMPTOUN," p. 131/f. 66r

"De spiritu gwydonis," p. 156/f. 78v

Table A12 Data and Contents List for BL MS Harley 3810/1 Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

1

2

3

IR

lOv

13v

10R ROM

13R REL

2T

2T

0 0 1

0 0 1

14R MOR 0 0

1

3 2 2 0 2 2 0

0 3 2 0 2 0 0

10 19

0

V

10 6

2 2

V

7

34R

17R

34v 34v

REL 0 0 0 0

LOV

PSA

TAB 0 0 -

1

1

6

16v

14R

0 0 0 0

0

5

15v

0 0

0 0 0 0 0

V

4

1

4

V

16R

0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 2

V

2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

4 35

0 -

1

0 V

-

p

1

7

BL MS Harley 3810/1 2 3 4 5

1

"ORPHEO REGIS," f. lr

"Panem Vite," f. lOv Precepts in -ly, f. 13v Regarding Friday, f. 14r Love letter, f. 16r

6 "Domine ne in furore tuo arguas nee in ira tua corripias" (Maydestone's Seven Penitential Psalms), f. 17r 7 Table of contents, f. 34v

Table A13 Data and Contents List for CUL MS Ii.4.9 1

2

3

4

5

6A

66

6c

7

8

IR 42R

42v 47R

47R 51v

52R 55R

55v 60R

60v 61v

61v 63R

63R 63R

63v 65v

65v 66v

REL

REL

MAS 0 0

RLP 0 0

RLP

PRA

REL 0

SAL

2 T

BVP 2T

MAS

2 T

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

0 0

3R

0

3R 2R

0

3R

0 0

0 0

2 R

2 0

2 R

0

3R

0 0

0 0 2R 0 0 2 S 0 2S 0 0

2 T 0

0 1R

0 0 2 0 2 0 0

0 1Q 0 0 2 1 0

0

1R 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0

2R

2 0 0 0 0 1 0

0 0 0

0 0

1R

-

1

0 0 0 1 0

2 R 1

2R

0 0 1 0 0 1 0

3R 1R 0

3 1 0 0 2 0

YI

14 83

V

14 10

V

CUL MS Ii.4.9 1 "The Passyoun of our lorde cryste Jhesu" (Northern Passion), f. Ir 2 "Feoffomente Jhesu," f. 42v 3 "Lamentacio sancte marie," f. 47r 4 "The mawndy of our lorde," f. 52r 5 The Lay Folks' Mass Book, f. 55v

12 10

P

10 7

p

6 10

V

2 3

p

4 4

p

2 1

p

5 5

V

On the ten commandments, f. 60v On the deadly sins, Christian virtues, etc., f. 61v 6C The Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and Apostles' Creed, f. 63r 7 Novem virtutes, f. 63v 8 "De tribulacione secundum vj. doctores," f. 65v 6A 6B

12 3

p

Table A13 continued 9

10

11

12

13

14Q

14z

15

67R 68v

69R 69R

69v 87R

87v 93v

94R 95R

95R 95v

95v 96R

97R 142R

MOR 0 0

MOR 0 0

RLP

ROM

SAL

REL

2 T

2 R

1 1 2R

0 0 2R

0

RLP 0 0

RLP

2X

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) CUL MS Ii.4.9 9 Erthe upon erthe, f. 67r 10 Latin and English moral quatrains, f. 69r 11 "The Abey of the holygoste," f. 69v 12 "MNGE ROBERD OF CYSYLE," f. 87v 13 "Narracio de Sancto Edwardo," f. 94r

0

2 R

0 2 1 0 0 0 0

0

1

0 3

0 0 0 0 0 2 0

2 R

0

3R

0 0

0 3 2 0 2 1 0

3R

2Q 0 1P 0 0 1 1 0

0 1Q 3 1 0 1 0 0

0 0

2R

3R

1Q 0 0 0 0 2R

3 0

0 2R 2N

0 3 2 1 2 1 0

YT V 5

4

2 1

V

17 36

p

12 13

V

14 3

p

5 2

p

12 2

p

16 91

V

14Q On the eucharist, f. 95r 14z On Christ, f. 95v 15 "Decem Precepta" (from Handlyng Synne), f. 97r

Table A13 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

16

17

18

20

21

22

23

24

142v 163v

163v 165R

165R 173R

173R 177R

177R 185R

185R 188v

188v 190R

190R 197v

REL 0 0 0 1

REL

REL 0 1

REL 2H

REL 3H 2

REL

REL

RLP 0 0

3 0 2 1 2 0 0

8 43

V

0 0 0

3 0 0 3 2 0 3s 0 0

1

0 2 2 0 3 0 0

10 4

V

15 17

V

1S

2 s 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0

7 9

V

3s 0 0 2 2 0 3s 0 0

19 17

V

0 1s 2 s 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0

5 8

V

2 T 1

2 0 0 2 2 0 3 0 0

15 4

0

3N

0 3 1 0 1 1 0 V

9 16

26

CUL MS li.4.9 16 On shrift and the seven deadly sins, f. 142v 17 The five bodily wits, with a form of confession, f. 163v16 18 "Hec sunt virtutes septem," f. 165r 19 "Ageyns temptacyouns and trybulacyouns" (marginal insertion in another hand), f. I69r 20 "Septem facta elemosine," f. 173r

21 "Hie incipiunt vij sacramenta ecclesie in Remissionem omnium peccatorum," f. 177r 22 "Septem virtutes principales," f. 185r 23 "Hec sunt dona vij sancti spiritus," f. 188v 24 On meditation (added later), f. 190r

p

Table A14 Data and Contents List for Bodl. Lib. MS Laud Misc. 108 Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) Bodl. Lib. MS Laud Misc. 108 1 South English Legendary, f. lr17 2 The Sayings of St Bernard, f. 198r 3 The Vision of St Paul, f. 199r 4 The Debate between Body and Soul, f. 200v

lA

IB

lR lOv

22R

SAL

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 0 0 0 0 0 2

20

V

llR SAL 0 1R 2R 3 B 0

3

2R

0

3R

3 2

19 23

V

1C

ID

2

3

4

5

6

7

23R

lllR

110R SAL 1

198R 199R

199R 200v

200V 203V

204R 219v

SAL 1

219v 228R

228v 230V

REL 0 0 0 2 B

REL 0 0 0

DBR 0 0 0

ROM

ROM 0 0

SAL 2 R

1B

1Q 0 0 0 0

0 0

0

1s

3B

0

2s 0 0

1s

3 2

9 175

198R

V

1B

0 2 0 0 0 0 2

5 175

V

0 3 0 0 0 0 2

4 3

0 3

0 0 0 0 2 V

2 4

2R

0 2 V

6 7

V

2v

2R 3R 2 B

3

0 2C 0

3s

2 s

2 s

2 s

0 -1 0 2

18 32

V

5

HAVELOK, f. 204r

6

KING HORN, f. 219V

7

"Vita et passio sancti Blasii martiris," f. 228v

0 0

1 2

8 18

V

0

3R

2x 0 2 s 0 0 1s 0 2

14 5

V

Table A14 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

8

9

10

230v 233v

233v 237R

237R 237v

SAL

SAL 3R 0 3R

POL

2 R 0 3R

2R

0 2 0 0 1 0 2

14 7

V

1X

0 3 0 0 0 0 2

11

V

8

13

Bod/. Lib. MS Laud Misc. 108 8 "Vita et passio sancte Cecilie virginis et martins," f. 230v 9 "Vita cuiusdam sancti viri nomine Alexii," f. 233v 10 "Somer soneday," f. 237r Note: Three flyleaf items (f. 238v), one biblical and two moral, were added later.

2v

1R 3R

1Q

0 0 0 0 0 0 2

11 2

V

Table A15 Data and Contents List for Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton")

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

IR 49R

50R 50v

51v 52R

53R 98v

109R

98v

109R 114v

114v 122v

ROM 1T

WEA 0 0

REL 2 0

ROM

ROM 2H 1 1 2R

ROM 2H 1 1

ROM

3C

3R

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

999 999 999 999 0

2 S

0

1S

3 0

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

0

1

2v

2R 3R

2R

0 0 2 0 2 3 0

3R

2 2 0 2 0 0

3 3 0 0 0 0 0

3 3 2 0 0 0 0

122v 129v SAL

2u

2R 2R

2 s 2 s

3

99 99 99 99 99

0

9

10

11

130R 138v

138v 147R

147R 148R

ROM 2

ROM

BVM

8

3R 3R

99 9

2

9 9 9 9 9

2R

0

2R

1 0

0 0

2R

2 3 2 0 0 1 0

1S

2 0

3R

2R

2u

1s

3 3 0 0 0 1 0

1

3 3 1 0 0 0 0

YT

97

p

0 2

p

V 10

2

YXl V

20 92

9 22

V

13 12

V

YHl V -

YTl V

22 15

17

8 18

V

11 18

V

8 3

V

18

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton")

1 "THE LYF OF GRET ALEXANDER CONQUEROR OF ALL THE WORLDE," f. Ir

2 Prognostications of weather, f. 50r 3 "Lamentacio peccatoris" (prologue to The Adulterous Falmouth Squire), f. 51v

"MORTE ARTHURS," f. 53r "THE ROMANCE OF OCTOVYANE" (NORTHERN OCTAVIAN), f. 98v

6 "THE ROMANCE OF SIR YSAMBRACE," f. 109r 7 "THE ROMANCE OF DYOCLICYANE ..." (THE EARL OF TOULOUS), f. 114v

8 9

"Vita Sancti christofori," f. 122v "SIR DEGREUANTE," f. 130r

10 "SIR EGLAMOUR OFF ARTASSE," f.

138v

11 "De miraculo Beate marie" (The Wicked Knight and the Friar), f. 147r

Table A15 continued

12

13

14

15

16

17

18Q

18z

19

20

21

148R 149R

149v 153v

154R

161R

161R

176R

176R 176v

176v 177R

177v 178R

178R 178R

178R 178v

179R 189R

189R 191v

SAT 2

POL

ROM 2H

ROM 2H 1 1

MED 2 0

RLP 2

BVP 2

PSA

PRA

RLP

REL

2 s 2 s

2 S

3R

2 R

Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

0

1

1R 0

0 2 0 1 1 0

10 3

2 0 1

2 F

2 R

2 2 2 0 1

99 9

0

V

12 9

V

2 3c 0 0 1 0 2 0 0

19 15

V

2R 0

3 2 0 1 0 0 YTl V

13 31

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

2 2

2 0 0

0 0 0 0 0 0

z

4 2

0 1 2Q

0 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 0 0

p

8 2

2 0 0 1Q -p

p

4 1

0 2 0 1Q

4 2

2 s 3 3 0 0 0 0 0

2 s 3s 2 s

0 0 0 0 0 V

2u

2u

0

3s

1 0 P

22 21

p

12 6

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton' •) 12 "Lyarde," f. 148r 13 "Thomas off Ersseldoune," f. 149v

18Q

"A Pryerre Off the ffyve loyes of oure lady," f. 177v

16 Three charms for toothache, f. 176r 17 "Epistola Sancti Saluatoris," f. 176v

20 21

"The Previte off the Passioune of owre lorde Ihesu," f. 179r "Tractatus Williami Nassyngton ... De Trinitate ... ," f. 189v

14 "THE AWENTYRS OFF ARTHURE AT THE TERNE WATHELYNE," f. 154r 15 "THE ROMANCE OFF PERCYUELLE OF GALES," f. 161r

18z "Psalmus Voce mea ad dominum clamaui," f. 178r 19 "Ffyve prayers," f. 178r

V

Table A15 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

191v 192R

192R 193v

193v 193v

193v 193v

193v 194R

194R 194R

194R 194v

194v 195R

195R 195R

195R 195R

195v 196R

PRA

RLP 2R

RLP

PRA

REL

RLP

2R

3R

2R

RLP 2R

RLP

2R

0

0 3R 2R -

0 3R 2R 3R

RLP 2R 0

RLP

2R

0 2R 2R

0 3R

0

RLP 3R 0

2 R 2 R

3R 3R

0 0 0

0

3R

2R

-

-R 0

0 2R

0 0

8 2

V

1

0 0 1 0 0 0 0

11 4

3R 2 R

0

3R

0 0

3R

0 0

p

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton") 22 Four poems (Rolle?), f. 191v 23 Rolle's "Of the vertus of the haly name of Jhesu," f. 192r 24 "Narracio: A tale that Richerde hermet," f. 193v 25 "A prayere that Richert hermet made ...," f. 193v 26 "Ympnus quern composuit Sanctus Ambrosius ...," f. 193v 27 "De imperfecta contricione," f. 194r

18 1

p

0 0 0 0 0

0 0

2R

0 0

12 1

p

28 29 30 31 32

16 2

V

2R 2R

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

10

1

0 0

0 0

1R

0

2 R

0 0 p

16 2

1R

p

0 0 0 0 0

10 2

p

0

2R 2R

0 0 0 0 0 0

10 1

2R

0

-p 0 0 0 1 0

p

10 1

0 0

1

0 0 0 0 p

16 2

p

"Moralia Richard! hermite de narura apis ...," f. 194r "De uita cuisdam puelle incluse propter amorem christi," f. 194v "Richardus hermyta," f. 195r "Item inferius idem Richardus," f. 195r "A notabill Tretys off the ten Comandementys Drawen by Richarde the hermyte off hampull," f. 195v

Table A15 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

42Q

196R 196v

196v 196v

197R 209v

209v 21 IR

21 Iv

211R

211v 212R

212R 212R

212R 212v

212v 213R

213R 213v

RLP 2

REL 0 0 0

PRA 0 0

PRA 0 0

REL 2H 2 0

REL 3

REL 0

2 R

2R -P

2 R

3R

RLP

RLP

RLP

3R

3R

3R 2 R 3R 2 R

0 2R 2R

0

1R

3R 1R 2 R 2 R 2 R

1R

3R

0 0 0

0

0

0

0 0

0 3 2 0 0 2 0

0 0

2 R

0 2 1 0 0 1 0

2R — R

1R 0

2 R

0 0

0

3R

0

-

-

0 0

0 0

-

1 0 1

1 0 1

0 0 0

1

0

0 0

-P

3 0 0 1 1 0

0 0

0 2 0 0 0 0 0

42z 213v 213v REL 0 0 0

0 0 0 0

1

0

YI

14 2

p

19

p

1

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton") 33 "Item idem de septem donis Spiritus sancti," f. 196r 34 "Item idem de dilectatione in deo," f. 196v 35 "Speculum Sancti Edmundi Cantuariensis ...," f. 197r 36 "Tractatus de dominica oratione," f. 209v 37 Hymn to Jesus, f. 211r 38 Hymn to the Trinity, the Virgin, and Jesus, f. 21 Iv 39 A prayer, f. 212r

17 26

p

7 4

P

40 41 42Q 42z

YTl V

9 2

9 2

V

7 1

z

8 2

V

YTl V

9 2

6 2

V

0

V

1

"A meditacione of the ffyve woundes of oure lorde ...," f. 212r "A medytacion of the Crosse of Criste with a prayere," f. 212v "When Adam dalfe," f. 213r Prayer, f. 213v

Table A15 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustrations Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages)

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50

51

52

53

213v 218v

219R 219v

219v 221v

222R 222v

223R 229R

229v 230v

231R 233v

233v 236v

237R 240R

240R 243v

243v 250v

REL 0 2 0

REL 0 0 0 3R 1

RLP 0 0

REL

RLP

RLP

REL

RLP 0

RLP

RLP 2

0

RLP 0 0

3R

2R

3R

0 3 0 0 0 1 0

8 11

0

1 1

0 V

9 2

V

0

3R

0 0 1 0 0 1 0

7 5

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton") 43 "A sermon that Dan lohn Gaytryge made ..." (The Lay Folks' Catechism), f. 213v 44 A song to Jesus, f. 219r 45 Hilton's Of Angels' Song, f. 219v 46 An exhortation to love Jesus (Hilton?), f. 222r 47 Hilton's Epistle On Mixed Life, f. 223r

0 0 0 3R 0 999

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

0

p

2

V

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

0 1 0 0 1 0

13

p

0 0 0

3R

0 3 0 0 0 1 0

6 3

p

2 0

1

3R

0 1 1 0 0 1 0

11 6

0 0

99 9 99 9 99 9

0 999

99 9

3R

99 9 99 9 99 9 99 9

0

V

7

p

999 1 0 0 1 1 0

7

p

1

0 0 0 0 1 0 0

12 8

p

48 An excerpt from the Scale of Perfection, f. 229v 49 "Of Sayne John the Euangelist," f. 231r 50 On prayer, f. 233v 51 Six things are to wit in prayer (from Gracia Dei), f. 237r 52 "De gracia dei" (opening), f. 240r 53 Our daily work (Rolle?), f. 243v19

0

0 0 0 0 0 1 0

4 15

p

Table A15 continued Item Number Opening Folio Number Closing Folio Number Kind of Item Title & Descriptor Incipit & Descriptor Opening Display Script & Descriptor Initial & Descriptor Opening Prayer & Descriptor Final Prayer & Descriptor Explicit & Descriptor Link/Summary & Descriptor Final Display Script & Descriptor Blank Space & Descriptor Contemporary Numbering Illustration Scribal Signature Medium Extent of Decoration Length (in pages) NUMBER OF ITEMS

54

55

56

57

58

59

60

61

62

63

64

250v 258R

258R 258v

258v 269R

269v 270v

271R 276R

276v 277R

277v 277v

277v 278R

278R 279R

279R 279v

280R 321v

RLP 2

PSA 0

RLP 2H 1 1 2R

PRA 0 0

RLP

REL 0 0 0

BVX

BVM

RLX 2

MOR 2

MED 2H

2 1

3R

3 2 2 0 1 0 0

16 16

0 0

2R

0 0 0

-p

0 0 0 2 0

1

0 p

4 2

0

V

9 22

p

0

2R

0 0 0 0 0

4 3

p

2 0 1 2R 0 2 2 0 0 1 0

10 11

p

2 R

-P -P

0

0 0 0 0 2 0

4 2

2 2 0 1Q 0 0 0 0 0

V

6 1

z

2 0 0 1Q -

-P

0 0 0 0 0

4 2

V

0 0 1Q 0 0 0 0 0

4 3

z

0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

8 2

2 1 0 0

99 9

999

99 9 99 9 99 9

0

V

84

66

Lincoln Cathedral Library MS 91 ("Thornton") 54 "A Reuelacyoun Shewed to ane holy woman ...," f. 250v 55 Miserere and Veni Creator, f. 258r 56 "Sayne Jerome Spaltyre," f. 258v 57 Five Latin prayers, f. 269v 58 "Religio sancti spiritus" (The Abbey of the Holy Ghost), f. 271r 59 Extract of the Prick of Conscience, f. 276v

60 61 62 63

"De vii gaudia beate marie uirginis ...," f. 277v "A nother Salutacioun till oure lady of hir fyve joyes," f. 277v Prayers and anthems, f. 278r20 "Memento homo quod cinis ..." (Earth upon Earth), f. 279r

64 "Liber de diuersis medicinis," f. 280r

p

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Notes

PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

1 Author's names and short titles in endnotes refer the reader to full bibliographical details in the bibliography at the end of this study. 2 See Pearsall, "Development," "English Romance," and Old English and Middle English Poetry. For one volume of published York conference papers, see Manuscripts and Readers. For fuller information on scholarly work mentioned (by author and topic) in this preface, see my bibliography. 3 P. Beal and J. Griffiths, eds, English Manuscript Studies, 1100-1700, vol. i (B. Blackwell); Griffiths and Pearsall, eds, Book Production and Publishing. 4 Pearsall, "Texts," 121. For an extended analytical survey of this scholarship on manuscript studies and Middle English romance, see Evans, "Manuscript Studies." 5 Another general overview of romance manuscripts is Hudson, "Middle English Popular Romances." 6 I use "layout" in the broader sense of format, including disposition of titles and explicits, spacing, sequence of items, inclusion of narrative links, etc. My usage also includes "layout" in the narrower sense of number of columns/lines per page. 7 See Evans, "The Explicits" and "The Two Scribes" and Vinaver, Works. 8 Three such particular discussions are Evans, "The Explicits'; the review and analysis of differing opinions on the Auchinleck Guy of

164 Notes to pages xiii-3 Warwick in chapter i; and Marx, "Beginnings and Endings." For related matters, see also Keiser, "Ordinatio" and Stemmler, "Miscellany or Anthology?". 9 Minnis, Medieval Theory, 153,158. 10 Judson Boyce Allen, Ethical Poetic, 129. 11 Pearsall, "Texts," 131. See also Hindman and Farquhar, Pen to Press, 63-77 for more emphatic generalizations and, for Middle English romance manuscripts, more questionable ones; and see discussion of Parkes in chapter i, 3-4. 12 Revision of the enumeration of romances in Sever's Manual of the Writings in Middle English (13-16) yields a total of 95 verse romances (Pearsall, "The English Romance," 56-8) and 25 prose romances (Keiser, "The Romances," 284-6). Reiser's essay addresses the relatively slender state of scholarship on Middle English prose romance. 13 This statement is not meant in a strict, statistical sense, since in chapter 2 I use only descriptive statistics on the fifteen manuscripts in my sample; inferential statistics, to test if results from my sample would be valid for the larger population of all romance manuscripts, were not calculated. 14 One formulation of such a definition is Pearsall's in The Canterbury Tales, 114: " The general character of the medieval romance is that it is, first, a narrative of the life of an idealised warrior aristocracy, in which prowess in feats of arms and dedication to the service of women are principal subjects ... [That Middle English romances are usually] morally edifying ... is not an essential condition of their existence. What is essential is the functions of such narratives as demonstrations of an ideal code of conduct in operation." For qualifications of this kind of definition, see, for example, Finlayson, "Definitions of Middle English Romance" and Barren, English Medieval Romance. I find Maldwyn Mills's distinction between elements of Middle English romance - the chivalrous, the heroic, and the edifying (Six Middle English Romances, vii) - particularly useful in later discussions. 15 Mehl, Middle English Romances, 86. 16 See p. 43 for further detail. 17 Columb and Turner, "Computers," 395. This essay is a valuable treatment of computer-assisted intelligence, meaning, and discourse analysis. CHAPTER ONE

1 Parkes, "Concepts," 127. This discussion of Parkes's argument also appears in another context in Evans, "Manuscript Studies." 2 Parkes, "Concepts," 128,130,135-6.

165 Notes to pages 3-8 3 Ibid., 134. 4 Ibid., 129. 5 This constitutive sense of compilatio appears in the work of Meale, "The Compiler at Work," 93 and Thompson, "The Compiler in Action," 114 n. 3, for example. 6 See Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 282-4. m relation to my discussions of this and other Middle English manuscripts, see appendix for lists of contents and data lists (interpreted in chapter 2). For Laud Misc. 108, see appendix, 154-5. 7 Liszka, "MS Laud. Misc. 108," 76-7 and 89-91. The two sets of numbering indicate the contemporary numbering first and mine second, the latter for the purposes of statistical analysis. "Appendix" is Liszka's term. 8 Robinson, "Study," 225-8. 9 For these details see Liszka, "MS Laud. Misc. 108," 75-6; Smithers, Havelok, xi-iii; Rosamund Allen, King Horn, 6-12. 10 Rosamund Allen, King Horn, 11-12. 11 See Rosamund Allen, King Horn, 11 n. 16. Voigts and Patterson's study remains unpublished. 12 See Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 252-5 and Hassall, The Romance of Alexander, 1-3. Hassall believes that Bodley 264 contains three manuscripts, not Guddat-Figge's two. I am also grateful to Bruce Barker-Benfield of the Department of Western Manuscripts, the Bodleian Library, for his suggestions concerning the coherence of the manuscript. 13 For these details on illumination, see Hassall, The Romance of Alexander, 2; fiche 13, CO2, reproduced from the Bodleian Library's Summary Catalogue, vol. 2, part i, 381-2, entry 2464; and fiche 14, 812-13. See also Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 253, and Marks and Morgan, The Golden Age, 109. 14 Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 254 and Magoun, Gests of King Alexander, 12-13 an^ n. 6. 15 Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 253. 16 Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 121-6. For list of contents and data lists, see appendix, 123-6. 17 Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance," viii. 18 Ibid., x; Loomis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript," 170-82 and "The Athelstan Gift Story," 264-5. See also Fewster, Traditionality and Genre, 64-5. 19 Mehl, Middle English Romances, 221-2. 20 Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 126. 21 Cunningham and Mordkoff, "New Light," 281 n. i; Fewster, Traditionality and Genre, 43,49. Fewster suggests that signals from the manu-

166 Notes to pages 9-13 script context are also ambivalent in terms of structure, and have "generic implications." Burton ("Narrative Patterning") argues that the metrical change in the context of the Auchinleck reworking of Guy was "deliberately made, deliberately placed, and deliberately ambivalent" (108), meant to be seen in relation to narrative patterns consistent with those of the fairy tale. My discussion of the Auchinleck Guy, an earlier version of which was presented as a conference paper in 1985, bears only some similarity to parts of Fewster's and Burton's different approaches published in 1987 and 1992, respectively. 22 Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance/' ix. 23 Loomis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript," 165 n. 54. 24 Zupitza, The Romance of Guy of Warwick, 631. 25 Loomis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript," 168-9. 26 Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance," ix. 27 Mehl, Middle English Romances, 220-6. 28 Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance," ix; Fewster, Traditionality and Genre, 43; Loomis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript," 165-6. 29 Zupitza, The Romance of Guy of Warwick: Edited from the Auchinleck MS., 382-4, lines 7303-6. Here and elsewhere below, obsolete characters in Middle English quotations are modernized. 30 Loomis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript," 168. 31 McSparran, "Literary and Historical Significance," xi. 32 Robinson, "Palaeographical Description," xiii. Maldwyn Mills (review, 249) counters with a helpful qualification of McSparran's line of argument: "it is still undeniable that the 'reorganization' here [in Ff.2-38] is much less thoroughgoing than in Auchinleck, since details of Reinbroun's earliest career are left embedded in the parent body of the Cambridge Guy, instead of being cut out of it and stitched onto the more substantial account of his later adventures." 33 Shonk, "Study," 84-5. 34 Cunningham, "Physical Description," xv. 35 Shonk, "Study," 76. 36 Herrtage, Taill, 61,67,75. 37 See also Cunningham and Mordkoff, "New Light," 281 n. i. 38 Zupitza, The Romance of Guy of Warwick: Edited from the Auchinleck MS., 628, stanza 299. Here I place "Explicit" flush with the lefthand margin of text, as it appears in the manuscript, rather than centering it, as Zupitza does. 39 Shonk, "Study," 85-7. 40 See also Fewster, Traditionality and Genre, 42. 41 See also Shonk, "Study," 76. 42 Again, in view of the extent of missing evidence in Auchinleck, we cannot be sure of its structure in statistical terms. But the available

167 Notes to pages 13-18 statistics on features of layout and decoration are highly suggestive; and when combined with other kinds of evidence - such as matters of narrative propriety and variant versions of Guy in other manuscripts a composite view of the Guy context is "probable." 43 Mehl, Middle English Romances, 221; Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance," ix; Loorrtis, "The Auchinleck Manuscript/' 168. CHAPTER TWO

1 Vinaver, "On Art and Nature," 36. 2 Sources for most dates for these manuscripts are noted in chapters i, 3, and 4 in discussions of individual manuscripts. Dating for Add. 31042 is from Pearsall, Old English and Middle English Poetry, 299. Totals on this chart for all items and for romances are drawn from my data lists (see appendix). In a few cases, these totals include a count for each part of a larger work (e.g., Laud Misc. io8's South English Legendary or Ff.2-38's Guy) and exclude fragmentary items (e.g., Sir Degare in Egerton 2862) or items added by later hands (e.g., items 11 and 12 in Cotton Galba E.ix). These few cases do not significantly affect the statistical conclusions of this chapter. For the key to slightly abbreviated names for manuscripts in the body of this study, see the list of abbreviations preceding the preface. 3 McSparran, "Literary and Historical Significance," vii. 4 According to Guddat-Figge's listings, of the eighty-six romance manuscripts that are not fragments, forty-five include only one romance in their contents, eleven have a single romance as their total contents, and thirty include two or more romances in their contents. 5 I am aware that there are many other manuscript features that might have been included for computer analysis. Indeed my discussion in later chapters of the relevance of other manuscript features, including the contiguity of manuscript items, complements the scope of attention in this chapter. 6 Readers may wish to refer recursively from subsequent chapters to discussions of particular manuscript features in this chapter. 7 For more information on extent of decoration as a composite feature and statistical score, see pp. 34,37-8 in this chapter. Folio and item numbers that begin the data lists are self-explanatory. 8 To avoid unnecessary proliferation of footnotes with cross-references to other chapters, readers who wish to pursue detail on examples cited here may consult the index. 9 These descriptors are alphanumeric variables, which need to be distinguished from numeric variables for those many statistical operations that do not allow variables that include alphabetical letters.

i68 Notes to pages 19-22 10 Examples of the first kind of missing value ("99") pertain to missing folios or parts of folios in Auchinleck, which were probably torn out for their miniatures. Values for manuscript features in these contexts are unknown. Examples of the other kind of missing value ("-")/ for cases where a score would be inapplicable, are the absence of a coloured initial or prayer on a diagram, and usually, scores for prayers at the beginnings or endings of items that are themselves prayers. 11 Thus for incipit, there are 354 valid cases and 38 (38 unknown + o inapplicable) missing cases. 12 In this chapter, unless otherwise stated, I cite only "valid percentages." 13 In data lists in the appendix, nonfreestanding titles at the openings of items are indicated by three categories of descriptor for titles: H (head), U (head, with red decoration), and V (head and rubricated); titles in closings are scored T (tail). Five out of the twenty titles in closings are cases where the opening of the item is missing (99 9); so we do not know whether there were titles at the beginning of su "tch items or not. Moreover, where manuscript folios have been cropped, as in the case of Adv. 19.3.1, for example, further titles may have been lost. 14 By "modern," I mean in particular those notions of the internal, selfenclosed, organic unity of literary works, of the autonomous text as separate from biographical or historical background - notions of the New Criticism so influential in twentieth-century literary criticism. See Eagleton, Literary Theory, 46-53. 15 See Evans, "The Explicits," particularly 267-8 and 270-1, and Vinaver, "On Art and Nature," 36-7. 16 For differing explorations of this truism, see for example Lewis, Discarded Image, 198-215; Minnis, Medieval Theory; and Payne, "Rhetoric in Chaucer." 17 My definition of incipit for this study selects one aspect of Father Leonard Boyle's definition from "Palaeography and Codicology," 4: "The actual words which introduce ('Hie incipit') a text, or those with which the text itself begins." Sometimes incipits in the first sense are called headings (see Robinson, "Palaeographical Description," xiii) or rubrics. My usage of incipit underlines my concern specifically with headings that contain the Latin term incipit or an English equivalent, such as "Here bygynneth ..." 18 Scores of i for incipit were given to opening rubrics in items 7 and 8 of Cotton Galba E.ix, and incipits (which form part of links with preceding items) for items 2-6 and 8 in Ff.2-38. 19 Occasionally, colouring of these opening features may not be scored in data lists under "opening display script," as in the case of some items in Cotton Caligula A.ii, that have running titles (with yellow wash)

169 Notes to pages 23-32

20

21

22

23 24

25

26 27

28 29

30

31

but not titles proper. Since running titles appear at tops of folios in the middle of items, throughout the manuscript, their decoration does not pertain to the heads of items per se. Totals also include twenty-five instances where blanks for initials were never filled in; only Add. 31042, Auchinleck, Ff.2-38, Gonville & Caius 175/96, and Harley 3810/1 have no such cases. Colouring of initials in my manuscripts includes blue, blue and red, green, black, and decorated with yellow or red ink; 38.1 per cent of cases are red. Some initials are, furthermore, lavishly flourished, as is the opening initial for item 4 (The Siege of Jerusalem) in Add. 31042, with its "encircling foliage while male and female human profiles decorate the outer stem of the letter" (Thompson, Robert Thornton, 58). Occasionally a score for "Amen only" is given in cases where an "Amen" in display script follows an item that consists entirely of prayer - cases that would otherwise be scored "missing." Vinaver, "On Art and Nature," 36. My definition of explicit again draws on Boyle, "Palaeography and Codicology," 4: EXPLICIT ... means the words or phrase which come at the end of a text ('Explicit tractatus ... .'), or the last words of the text itself." I use the term in Boyle's first sense for cases that use "explicit" or an English equivalent such as "Here endyth." There are eight other internal explicits: Ashmole 6i's items 20 and 27, Auchinleck's item 25, Cotton Galba E.ix's item 3, Ff.2-38's items 23 and 4OA, Ii.4.9's item i, and Lincoln's item 11. French and Hale, Middle English Metrical Romances, 176 (lines 2984-93). See my disagreement in chapter i, for example, with Dieter Mehl on what he sees as the separating effect of summaries in the Auchinleck Guy. Obsolete characters have been modernized. Other links besides those in Ff.2.38 connect the following items: 1-4 in Add. 31042; 22-4 and 31-2 in Auchinleck (see chapter i); 7-8 in Cotton Galba E.ix; and items 15-17 in 11.4.9. There is an unattached link at the end of item 6 in Adv. 19.3.1 for a section of the work that does not follow in this manuscript. Occasionally, colouring of these final manuscript features may not be scored in data lists under "final display script," as in the case of some explicits in the Auchinleck MS. Since all first letters of lines in the manuscript are decorated with red ink (Cunningham, "Physical Description," xv), red ink on the first letters of these particular explicits is not noteworthy as final display script. See Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 170 regarding item 3 in Cotton Caligula A.ii; and Thompson, Robert Thornton, 3 n. 13 regarding ff. 5O-2r in the Lincoln MS.

170 Notes to pages 33-42 32 The total (twenty-three) for missing cases is partially a result of educated guesses: when a particular item, in the context of numerous items that have illustrations, is missing all or most other values, I also score illustration as "missing" for that item. 33 Adv. 19.3.1 does have "a picture of a Guidonian hand to give basic guidance on musical notation" (Turville-Petre, "Some Medieval English Manuscripts," 139). 34 See, for example, Vinaver, "On Art and Nature," 36. 35 See chapter 3,59, for example, regarding the alternation of verse and prose items in Lincoln 91. 36 Extent of decoration is calculated according to the following formula: Title + incipit + (2 x opening display script) + (2 x initial) + explicit + (2 x final display script) = extent of decoration. The calculation includes visual elements of layout (title, incipit, explicit) and decoration (initials, opening and final display script). Internal explicits are excluded from calculations; in comparison to external explicits, they are less visible and therefore not decorative because of their presence in the closing of texts proper. The doubling of actual scores for initial and for opening and final discplay script acknowledges their pronounced visual effect. 37 The seventy-nine missing cases occur when any one variable in the calculation of extent of decoration is missing. 38 For the purposes of convenient layout, I place the "middle group" on Figure 16 at nine; medians for the group are actually in the eight-toten range. Douce 261, Egerton 2862, and Gg4.27(2) have either no valid cases or too few of them for significant statistical analysis. 39 In the computation of length, incomplete items are scored only according to their extant lengths; items actually less than one page in length are scored "i." A few cases of length on data lists in the appendix need explanation. Item 22 in Adv. 19.3.1 receives no score ("-") because its folios are presently bound in reverse order. Item 3, a fragment of Sir Degare, is excluded from the list of values for Egerton 2862 because its two surviving leaves are also misbound. The two scores of 175, moreover, are for two sections of the South English Legendary in Laud Misc. 108; this whole work I have considered (in Laud Misc. io8's data list) to be four blocks, as suggested by manuscript layout and decoration. 40 The average for nonromance items is above "o" (the value for "no explicit") but below "i" (the value for "explicit"). 41 I pursue the comparison of means for length below in this chapter. 42 The difference in numbers of cases used, 77 romances and 315 other items, is of statistical note but should not in this instance detract from the reliability of these comparisons. High standard deviations indicate

171 Notes to pages 42-7

43

44 45

46

47

that there may be some spread in individual values used to compute the means. For opening prayers in nonromance items, for example, the standard deviation of .99 means that perhaps one-third of all values for opening prayer are at least .99 on either side of .41, the mean (i.e., at least o or 1.40). Inasmuch as this question also relates to the problematic nature of religious or "homiletic" romance, see chapter 3 for a discussion of Sir Isumbras in this context. Means for 64 cases and for 21 cases are both statistically reliable, but the mean for the greater number of cases, more so. Mehl, Middle English Romances, 86.1 mention here the following percentages (romance/nonromance) not included in Figure 19: "Amen" only, 8.2/7.4; blank space, 39.3/30.1. These instances of coinciding ends of items and booklets are indicated on my lists of contents for individual manuscripts (in the appendix) by 3 em dashes between blocks of items. Sources for these divisions are: for Add. 31042, Thompson, Robert Thornton, 19 ff; for Adv. 19.3.1, Hardman, "Mediaeval Library," 262-4; f°r Ashmole 61, BarkerBenfield, Collation notes; for Auchinleck, Pearsall, "Literary and Historical Significance," ix; for Cotton Galba E.ix, Guddat-Figge, Catalogue of Manuscripts, 173; for Egerton 2862, Robinson, "Study," 165-8; for Ff.2.38, Robinson, "Palaeographical Description," xiii; for Ii-4-9, Owen, Notes; for Laud Misc. 108, Liszka, "MS Laud Misc. 108," 89-91; and for the Lincoln MS, Hanna, "Growth," 51-4. For some of these manuscripts, different decisions can be made concerning smaller booklets that arguably exist within larger booklets. For the purposes of this analysis, for example, I depart from Liszka's divisions by regarding The South English Legendary in Laud Misc. 108 as one large item and booklet; and I divide Hanna's Booklet 3 (ff. 179-279 in the Lincoln MS) into three smaller booklets, at places where new quires begin at new items. The collation of many of these manuscripts remains debatable. Because of destroyed evidence, collation is uncertain, at least as yet, for Harley 3810/1 and Cotton Caligula A.ii, although Robinson ("Study," 160-4) suggests a break between items 3 and 4 in Cotton Caligula A.ii. I gauge extent of decoration by the variable "extent of decoration." Where, in booklets with numerous items, there is noticeable evidence of more or less decoration at the beginnings or endings of booklets - even though the first or last item may have an "inapplicable" score ("-") for extent of decoration - I often regard the booklet as a valid case for this survey. As a general indicator of this difference, the mean for length for romance is 30.19, and for nonromance items, 8.86. It should be added that the respective standard deviations, 28.43 an 95,109 Robinson, Pamela, xi, 4-5, 61-2,63,85,93-4,100, 107 Roland and Vernagu, 9,12 Rolle, Richard, 59 Romance, Middle English: definitions, xv. See also Classification of groups of romances by manuscript context; Homiletic romance; Kind of item; Lay, Middle English; Models of composite literary structure; Multigeneric blocks of texts; Romances v. nonromances; Saints' lives and romances Romances v. nonromances: differences in layout and decoration, 39-50,107 Saint Christopher, 111 St Eustace, 55,71 St Katherine, 74,78,82, Illustration 5 Saints' lives and romances, 107; in Laud Misc. 108,4-6; in Gonville & Caius 175/96, 68-9. See also Homiletic romance The Sayings of the Four Philosophers, 84,94,95 The Sayings of St Bernard, 5

Schmidt, A.V.C., 5,86 Scribal signature, 33,36, 72,76, Illustration 5 Seege of Troy. See The Siege of Troy The Sege offMelayne, 109 Separation or linkage of texts. See Linkage or separation of texts The Seven Sages of Rome, 63,64-5,84,90-1,93, 95,108,109,111

Shakespeare, William, 92 Shonk, Timothy, xi, 11,95, 96,112 The Siege of Jerusalem, 70-1,111 The Siege of Troy, 88,93,94 Single literary work, 103, 105-9 Sir Amadace, 74,109 Sir Cleges, 109 Sir Degare (SD), 56,61,62, 65,66,67,68,83-96, 101-2,105-6,108,111, 112, Illustration 6. See also Lay, Middle English Sir Degrevant, 60,111 Sir Eglamour, 30,56,61, 62-3,66,67,68,71,93, 94,102,109,111 Sir Gowther, 28,74,78,102, 109. See also Lay, Middle English Sir Isumbras (si), 53,55-82, 83,104,105,109-10, 111,113, Illustration 2, Illustration 3, Illustration 4; summary of different readings of, 80-1. See also Homiletic romance Sir Launfal, 71,101-2. See also Lay, Middle English Sir Orfeo (so), 27,83, 96-102,104,105-6, 108-9,1:tl>112/ 113i Illustration 7. See also Lay, Middle English Sir Perceval, 59 Sir Torrent of Portyngale, 109 Sir Triamour, 27,63,65,79, 109,111 Sir Tristrem, 96,101,108 Smithers, G.V., 5 "Somer soneday," 4 South English Legendary, 4, 5 Speculum Guy de Warwick (or Speculum Gy de Wareivyke), 7,11,88

203 Index Stans Puer Ad Mensam, 73, 74,78 The Stations of Rome, 30 Statistical analysis: chisquared measure of association, 49-50; correlation, 47-8,172 n. 52,178 n. 114; frequencies, 19-20,43-6, 50; means (or averages), 39-43,48-9; medians, 37-8; Pearson coefficients, 47-8; reappraisal of some statistical generalizations, 103-5 Stemmler, Theo, 113 Stokoe, William C. Jr, 66, 84,86,102 Summary, 9,12-13,2^30 Susan, 30 Tail display script. See Final (or tail) display script Tail prayer. See Final (or tail) prayer

The Ten Commandments, 73 That pes mey stand, 77 Thompson, John J., xi, 59 Thornton, Robert, 33,59, 60,61. See also Manuscripts, individual: Lincoln, Cathedral Library 91 ("Thornton"); Manuscripts, individual: London, British Library Additional 31042 ("Thornton") Title, 19-22,60 Toulous. See The Earl of Toulous Triamour. See Sir Triamour Tristran (Thomas's), 96 Troyes MS 718,3,4 "A tryppe off Deere," 76 Tundale, 70,74 Valid cases, 19 Variant versions: on the Lincoln/Ashmole/ Advocates' and Cot-

ton Caligula versions of Sir Isumbras, 56-8 and 59-80 passim; and overview of Sir Isumbras in manuscript context, 81-2; of Sz'r Degare, 66-7,84, 86,89; of Floris and Blauncheflur, 92-3; of Sir Orfeo, 97-9,100; and overview of Sir Degare and Sz'r Orfeo as lays, 101-2 Vinaver, Eugene, xii The Vision of St Paul, 5 Vision of Tundale, 70,74 Vita Sancti Christofori, 59 Voigts, Linda, 5 Watermarked paper stocks, 178 n. 100 Wentersdorf, Karl P., 92 William of Nassington, 52 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 107 Ypotis, 30 Ywain and Gawain, 90,91, 111