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Manuscript Description
USA, San Marino, CA, Henry E. Huntington Library MS EL 26 A.17
Title:Confessio Amantis
Contents:Gower, Confessio Amantis
Language:English and Latin
Date Range:1390-1415
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:County; Gowerian
No of Folios:ii paper (watermark dated 1794, first matches pastedown) + 172 parchment + ii paper (ditto)
Pagination:Modern pencil, upper outer corners recto 1-172 including all the back flyleaves.
Catchwords:By scribe in same hand and ink as text, about three quarters down the lower margin of last folio verso of each quire, about in line with end of second column's text, not running up to right margin line or glosses column, and with no decoration or embellishment.
Page Size:353 x 248
Frame:8 x vertical enclosing two columns of text and two columns of glosses either side of the central two-column text; 6 x horizontal enclosing top and bottom lines and running titles; rules in columns, very fine grey lines; no pricking survives.
Writing Space:264-262 x 174-172
Incipits and Explicits:Gower's usual elaborate ending but not written in red as in some manuscripts and no explicit at end.
Marginal Headings:No headings but glosses through text in the narrow columns either side of text.
Running Titles:Running titles on each page, the left (verso) with 'Liber' and the right (recto) with the number, eg 'Primus'.
Borders:Full bar border in gold, blue and red around the page on f1; coats of arms and badges; each book opens with elaborate 6-line illuminated initial and a bar border; frequent 3-line gold initials on boxed quartered blue and red ground with white highlighting; alternating one-line gold initials with purple flourishing and blue initials with red flourishing.
Miniatures:Miniature and illuminated initial on f1.
Paragraph Marks:No paraphs before the glosses or before running titles.
Other Names (not owners):Coat of arms in the initial (swan) on f1 that of John of Gaunt or of his son Henry IV before his accession to the throne (see Dutschke 1.40).
Miscellaneous Info:Written by a single hand for whole MS except for recipes and notes of 16-17 cc on back flyleaves.
Further Information:Dutschke, 1.35-41. Takamiya 98: John Gower, Confessio Amantis, Book IV, 2351-2530, MS fragment on vellum, an incomplete leaf recovered from a binding, 204 x 145 mm, one of seventeen leaves missing from the Ellesmere/Stafford Gower, now Huntington Library, EL 27 A 17. Quaritch, 1270 (2000), item 55. A. S. G. Edwards and T. Takamiya, 'A New Fragment of Gower's Confessio Amantis,' Modern Language Review, 96 (2001), 931-6.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP