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Manuscript Description
Scotland, Glasgow, Glasgow University Library MS Hunter 239 (U.3.12)
Title:Pelerinage de la Vie Humaine (The ABC Hymn)
Author:Chaucer and Guillaume de Deguileville
Contents:Pelerinage de la Vie Humaine, Deguileville ; The ABC Hymn, Chaucer (ff80v-83v).
Date Range:Early 15th century
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

No of Folios:i marbled flyleaf + iii paper flyleaves + ii original parchment flyleaves + 1-102 + ii original vellum flyleaves (ruled) + i paper flyleaf + i marbled flyleaf
Pagination:Modern pencil foliation in upper corner recto of every folio 1-102.
Signatures:A number of signatures survive such as 'fiij' on f43r, 'fiiij' on f49r, 'giij' on f57r; lower case letter + roman numerals in the ink of the text and put in by the scribe in the bottom right corner of folios recto; at the beginning of every quire, the scribe marks the letter of the quire in the lower margin left of the first folio, 'b' on f9, 'f' on f41 etc.
Catchwords:At the end of every quire in the hand of the scribe and the ink of the text usually a third of the way down the lower margin running up to right frame line.
Page Size:290 x 205
Frame:4 x horizontal with double ruling at top and bottom enclosing first and last text lines of folio; 2 x vertical; ruled within in fine grey plummet.
Writing Space:205 x 140
Incipits and Explicits:No incipit for ABC but 'AMeN' at the end on f83v. 'AmeN' at the end of the book on f102r, followed by an Explicit and an exhortation to all who read it to pray for those who made it and wrote it.
Marginal Headings:The manuscript is covered with marginal notes in a contemporary hand. Corrections to the text are marked in the margins, as well as 'resoun' 'body', 'soule' preceded by double parallel lines. These may be an indication to the scribe for glosses to be added.
Paragraph Marks:Blue and unflourished in prose sections.
Flourished Initials:Many blue initials of varying sizes flourished with fine red penwork throughout the manuscript; in the 'ABC' the same blue initials, 2-line, with red penwork mark the stanzas.
Other Names (not owners):On f104v, the final but unnumbered folio of the manuscript, is the name 'Johanes Hill' in a fifteenth century hand and on f44v in the same hand, the name 'John' in the upper margin and 'Jo' in the left margin.
Miscellaneous Info:The notes and corrections in the margin, contemporary with the scribal hand; the corrector is marking spelling errors, omissions, chapter numbers and line numbers presumably from the text which was being translated. All this in ink now faded but clear enough to be able to read almost all marginalia. The nature of some of the corrections might indicate that the scribe was writing from dictation? In the first quire, the scribe decorated some of the ascenders on the top line of each folio with various types of pattern. In the second quire he used elongated ascenders for some letters but without the decoration. Thereafter no further embellishment.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP