Advanced Search   *   Manuscripts   *   Scribes   *   Authors   *   Letters
Home   *   About the Project   *   Bibliography
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council
Find What? Search by
Manuscript Description
USA, San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library MS El 26 C.9
MS Appellation:Ellesmere; El (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Date Range:1397-1410
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:Adam Pinkhurst : Chaucerian
Material:Parchment of high quality
No of Folios:iv + 232 + iv
Pagination:Modern pencil in top outer corners recto; 19th century foliation 2-240 incorporating the original end-leaves, used by F. J. Furnivall in Chaucer Society Publications from 1868; another foliation, 2-243 in upper left-hand corner of versos.
Signatures:A few traces of signatures but mainly removed through cropping.
Catchwords:The tops of the letters of a single catchword remain on f184v; all the rest have been lost in cropping.
Page Size:420 x 290
Frame:6 x vertical to include an outer column frame for marginalia, 4 x horizontal enclosing the text box + 2 for the running titles.
Writing Space:310-322 x 153-155
Incipits and Explicits:Regularly by the scribe in the ink of the text.
Marginal Headings:Glosses are by the scribe copied into the ruled space for marginalia and preceded by paraphs.
Running Titles:On rectos and versos by the scribe in the ink of the text and preceded by paraphs. Generally the name of the pilgrim narrator .
Table of Contents:On f235v is a list of the contents and the pilgrim narrator. Also on the same folio, a copy of Chaucer's poem Truth.
Borders:71 borders; three-sided borders only; gold, rose, blue, burnt orange, green
Illuminated Initials:225 large capitals from 2-6-lines in height with colours used as in border colours.
Miniatures:23 miniatures of Pilgrims, all on horseback
Paragraph Marks:Blue paraphs with red flourishing or gold with violet pen-work mark textual divisions and glosses and precede running titles.
Flourished Initials:Small flourished initials define stanzas and sometimes glosses.
Other Names (not owners):On f1v are several names; 'Robertus Drury miles. William Drury miles. Domina Jarmin. Domina Jarningam. Dommina Alington. Edward Waldegrave 'Margery seynt John ys a shrew' Thomas Calthorpp of'. On f130 'per me Henricum Payne'. On fiv(v) are 'I DVRUM 5 PATI 68' and two sets of English verses signed 'R. North' and 'R.N'. The first Earl of Bridgwater's pressmark appears on fii. The manuscript stayed in this family until bought by the Huntington Library in 1917.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 148-159. Seymour II: 230-235. Martin Stevens and Daniel Woodward, eds. The Ellesmere Chaucer: Essays in Interpretation. San Marino, CA & Tokyo: Huntington Library & Yushodo Co., Ltd., 1995. Doyle, A. I., and M. B. Parkes. 'The Production of Copies of the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis in the Early Fifteenth Century.' in M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson, eds. Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts, and Libraries: Essays Presented to N. R. Ker. London: Scolar Press, 1978. 163-210.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP