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Manuscript Description
Europe, Cologny, Switzerland, Fondation Martin Bodmer MS 48
MS Appellation:olim Phillips 8136, Ph2 (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Date Range:1450-1475
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

No of Folios:1-247
Pagination:Foliation not original, perhaps 16th-17th century.
Quiring:1(7 i missing), 2-26(8), 27(6), 28(8), 29(6), 30(7 ii missing), 31(8), 32(4 v-viii missing)
Signatures: A few signatures visible near the beginning of the manuscript, but mostly lost through cropping.
Catchwords:First visible catchword at the end of quire 24 on f191. Bracket underline in red ink.
Page Size:285 x 202
Frame:Ink margins, red on some folios.
Writing Space:183 x 110
Incipits and Explicits:Throughout in the display script of the scribe in red ink.
Marginal Headings:A few only, some in red ink, written by the original scribe. Later comments and glosses scrawled in the margins.
Running Titles:No contemporary titles. Some added at a later date.
Table of Contents:A late addition on fi.
Title by Scribe:A small square label is still attached to the back board. This reads 'In isto Libro contine[n]tur ffabula Cantuariens[is] In Anglicis'. Manly and Rickert suggest that the binding may be original and that it could be of monastic origin.
Paragraph Marks:Red with some underlining of words and phrases in red ink. Some upper case letters tipped with red.
Flourished Initials:One at the very beginning, 4-line blue initial. Thereafter, 2-3 line initial capitals (or spaces left for them), mark the beginnings of prologues and tales.
Other Names (not owners):A number of names in the manuscript, 'Rychard howell' on f155v, 'Ihon payn on f163v and 'mr Frost mr harrye fynche' on f 169v, led Manly and Rickert to suggest connections with Kent, near Canterbury. It might also be the manuscript owned by Edmund Canby of Yorkshire (I: 616, 627). The manuscript was examined by Urry in 1714 and thereafter passed through the hands of Charles Ingram, Viscount Irvine J.P. Kemble and Richard Heber. It went from Heber to Thorpe then to Sir Thomas Phillipps whence it was sold to Rosenbach in 1923. From Rosenbach it passed to the Fondation Martin Bodmer.
Miscellaneous Info:Manly and Rickert, (I: 421) note the similarity of the hand to Oxford, Bodley MS. 414.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 421-426, 616, 627. Seymour II: 76-79.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP