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Manuscript Description
USA, Philadelphia, PA, Rosenbach Museum & Library MS 1083/29
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Gower, Confessio Amantis, A version, ff1-162
Language:English and Latin
Date Range:1400-1425
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:County; Gowerian/colourless
No of Folios:1 marbled + 1 original flyleaf + 1-161v + 162 parchment written by a 20th c. calligrapher to complete the poem (56 lines) since original last leaf is lost + 1 blank paper + 1 marbled
Pagination:Modern pencil in lower outer corner recto, ff1-162 counting the modern leaf which completes the text.
Signatures:No signatures survive.
Catchwords:By the scribe, just one or two words, almost at lower edge and completely in gutter, so starting with right frame line, punctus before and after but no other embellishment, in ink of text.
Page Size:288 x 200
Frame:4 x vertical, 2 x horizontal with top line entirely in frame, ruled within, all in purple ink; no pricking survives.
Writing Space: 213 x 140 in 2 columns so 64 + 12 + 64
Incipits and Explicits:Just 'Prologue' on f1, and explicit for whole does not survive' so only explicits and incipits for books; in rubric by scribe, same size but in spaces of several lines so set off, explicit for one book and incipit for next; Latin is worked into ruled text boxes too so nothing in margins (which are pretty narrow anyway).
Marginal Headings:Rubric text for Latin and for headings, names of speakers written at ends of line trying to fit into ruled space but often running over into margins.
Running Titles:Rubric running titles 'Liber' on versos and number on rectos, with no paraph so only red. Extensive strapwork on ascenders of words in top lines of each page, in same ink as text and done by scribe
Borders:On f1r full-page bar border, blue, pink, orange and green.
Historiated Initials:On f1r an historiated initial with seated figure with book in his lap, presumably Gower (bearded); on f3vb an historiated initial of dream of Nebuchadnezzar.
Illuminated Initials:On f1r 10-line blue initial with white highlighting creating incised pattern, on pink ground with white highlighting, surrounded by gold frame that becomes the ground to left of letter. Other books begin with 1-line initials of similar decoration with extensive gold ground. 2-3-line gold initials on rose and blue grounds with white highlighting.
Paragraph Marks:Sometimes blue paraphs in the rubric text, red-flourished.
Flourished Initials:1-line initials alternating blue with red flourishing and gold with marine blue flourishing.
Other Names (not owners):On f1v (paper flyleaf, modern hand writes, 'Collection of Earl of Aberdeen, then another modern hand writes next line 'Lord Haddon' or 'Lord Haddow
f ii-recto (original flyleaf) has 15-16th c. short poem, 'fayere well goey and wellcome payene tayell I se hanton [or hauton] payell aeyne bey yowere one yow wot well who that euere hayes bene and shall be so pro me h s ' and modern note below '*asiat of Lord Pagett'. A note on slip of paper by modern writer transcribes this (incorrectly) and translates. First line + farewell joy and welcome pain'.
Further Information:Modern calligrapher took his text from EETS edition by Macaulay.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP