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Ann Blair

In our time of increasing reliance on digital media the history of the book has a special role to play in studying the codex form and the persistence of old media alongside the growth of new ones. As a contribution to recent work on the continued use of manuscript in the handpress era, I focus on some examples of manuscripts copied from printed books in the Rylands Library and discuss the motivations for making them. Some of these manuscripts were luxury items signalling wealth and prestige, others were made for practical reasons – to own a copy of a book that was hard to buy, or a copy that could be customized in the process of copying. The act of copying itself was also considered to have devotional and/or pedagogical value.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
James Doelman

5 Epigrams in manuscript Though the word spoken live, the written dye; Yet that shall end, this live eternally.1 As explored in Chapter 4, individual epigrams were apt, after initial oral circulation or as ‘separates’ on paper, to be recorded in commonplace books or miscellanies that gathered a range of materials on a topic, or that included an unorganized variety of poems. This chapter examines a different sort of gathering, where the manuscript was largely limited to epigrams. These manuscripts can be divided into two main groups: those put together by a

in The epigram in England, 1590–1640
Scholarly practices of religious Franks in the margin unveiled
Mariken Teeuwen

12 Three annotated letter manuscripts: scholarly practices of religious Franks in the margin unveiled Mariken Teeuwen Annotating manuscripts was common practice in the Carolingian world. Four out of five, or maybe even nine out of ten manuscripts from the eighth, ninth and tenth centuries are annotated. Sometimes they are filled with extensive commentaries and dense interlinear glossing; sometimes we only find minute signs, a few corrections and some occasional structuring devices. It is a rarity, however, to find a completely unannotated manuscript. A

in Religious Franks
Author: Daniel Birkholz

This study brings emergent methodologies of literary geography to bear upon the unique contents—or more to the point, the moving, artful, frequently audacious contents—of a codex known as London, British Library MS Harley 2253. The Harley manuscript was produced in provincial Herefordshire, in England’s Welsh Marches, by a scribe whose literary generation was wiped out in the Black Death of 1348–1351. It contains a diverse set of writings: love-lyrics and devotional texts, political songs and fabliaux, saints’ lives, courtesy literature, bible narratives, travelogues, and more. These works alternate between languages (Middle English, Anglo-Norman, and Latin), but have been placed in mutually illuminating conversation. Following an Introduction that explores how this fragmentary miscellany keeps being sutured into ‘whole’-ness by commentary upon it, individual chapters examine different genres, topics, and social groupings. Readers from literary history, medieval studies, cultural geography, gender studies, Jewish studies, book history, and more, will profit from the encounter.

Harley 2253 is famous as medieval books go, thanks to its celebrated roster of lyrics, fabliaux, and political songs, and owing to the scarcity of material extant from this ‘in-between’ period in insular literary history. England’s post-Conquest/pre-plague era remains dimly known. Despite such potential, there has never been a monograph published on Harley 2253. Harley Manuscript Geographies orients readers to this compelling material by describing the phenomenon of the medieval miscellany in textual and codicological terms. But another task it performs is to lay out grounds for approaching this compilation via the interpretive lens that cultural geography provides.

Editor: Peter Redford

The Burley manuscript is a miscellany compiled by William Parkhurst in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, unique in its size – over six hundred items inscribed on nearly four hundred folios – and its variety: poems and letters, essays and aphorisms, speeches, satires and sententiae, mostly in English but including Latin, Italian, French and Spanish. In this study, annotated transcriptions are given of all of the private letters in English, including those that are translations from those of the fourth-century Roman patrician Q. Aurelius Symmachus, and all the English verse. Incipit transcriptions and identification are provided for each of the other items, including those in foreign languages. The history and provenance of the collection are described in detail, with lengthy notes on memorial transcription of verse and prose, and the clandestine interception of letters. The book makes available, in a readily searchable form, texts, annotations and commentary that will have an impact on a wide range of scholarship. It will not only act as a guide to one of the English Renaissance’s most prized miscellanies, but also be found useful in a wide range of studies, illuminating such diverse subjects as, for example, the circulation of verse, the correspondence of John Donne (particularly with Henry Wotton and Henry Goodere), the self-fashioning of English gentlemen after the classical Romans of their class, and the government’s paranoiac spying on its own citizens. Literary scholars and editors, and social historians, may here draw on a deep well of contemporary writing, not readily available hitherto.

Abstract only
Peter Redford

8 The manuscript text 1r–2v 1 The Chara[c]ter of Robert Carr Earle of Salisbury. Hee came of a Parent, that counselled the state into pietie, honor and action. […] Hand P. 4-page essay, which a number of contemporary MSS ascribe to Cyril Tourneur (1575–1626), and which is printed as his in The Works of Cyril Tourneur, ed. by Allardyce Nicholl (London: Fanfrolico, 1930). [After 1612, Salisbury’s death.] 3r–6v Blank 7r 2 (Marginal note: 9-1.) Sir. Yf the memory of our old frendship remayne constant, not less’ned thorough oblivion, I thinke you will receave these

in The Burley manuscript
Richard Sharpe

Rylands Irish MS 22 is a copy of Geoffrey Keatings Trí Biorghaoithe an Bháis (1631), made by the well-known scribe Risteard Tuibear in 1710, a professionally made vernacular book, making available for circulation a widely read devotional text. In the last two pages the scribe permitted an apprentice to copy, and as a result he had to write the ending a second time more correctly. Like several other books made by Tuibear, it belonged to Muiris Ó Gormáin in Dublin in the later eighteenth century and is found in his book lists from 1761 and 1772. Inside the front is the book-plate of the Duke of Sussex, and the catalogue of his library from 1827 shows that this is a book given to him by Sir William Betham a year earlier. When the Duke‘s library was auctioned, this was sold to a London dealer, reappearing in sales between 1866 and 1869. It was bought by the Earl of Crawford and came with all his manuscripts into the Rylands Library, where for its origin and history it stands out from a collection of books largely made for or by Denis Kelly, of Castle Kelly, in the mid-nineteenth century.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Greg Wells

John Hall’s Latin manuscript is the one record we have of his authentic voice, even if expressed at times in the words of others. It is contained in a small notebook, measuring approximately 18 by 10 centimetres. It is now in a leather binding marked ‘British Museum’ (from around 1868, before its transfer to the British Library) with a title, ‘Case Book of Dr John Hall’, on its spine. The manuscript is complete, with no missing pages. The paper has faded to a light brown with only a few stains and blemishes. The top, bottom and sides of each page have faint

in John Hall, Master of Physicke
Patterns of transmission
László Sándor Chardonnens

argue that ‘in approximately one quarter of the extant manuscripts a lunation immediately precedes, follows, or is in some other way intimately related to a copy of the Somniale Danielis ’, and that these two forms of dream divination ‘regularly appear as one text in the same manuscript’. 3 This would suggest that medieval scribes saw generic connections between these two forms of dream divination. Sure enough, lunaries and alphabetical dream books are sometimes attested in the same book, sometimes in sequence or even as a single text, but much less frequently than

in Aspects of knowledge
Claire Harman

This article looks at Frances Burneys contribution to life writing through her composition, preservation and curatorship of her own personal archive and management of family papers. It charts Burneys chronic anxieties about the possible interpretation of the record that she had created, and the tension between self-expression and self-exposure which underlay her very revealing difficulties with editing, archivism and publication.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library