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Manuscript Description
London, British Library MS Royal 18 C.II
MS Appellation:Ry2 (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Contents:Canterbury Tales
Date Range:1420-1450
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

No of Folios:i + 271
Pagination:Modern pencil foliation in top outer corner and counts first two flyleaves as f1 and f2.
Quiring:2 vellum leaves, 1-29(8), 30(11-was 8 with 3 leaves removed then a further quire of 8 added), 31-33(8), 34(2).
Signatures:In centre of lower margin on first four folios recto are medieval signatures written quite large in brown crayon; f11 has 'b1', f12 has 'b2; in third quire signatures are smaller, perhaps in ink on f19 is 'c1' and on f20 is 'c2' etc; larger brown crayon arabic numbers written over them as on f21 '3' is written over 'c3'.
Catchwords:By scribe in lower margin, underlined.
Page Size:310 x 215
Frame:Square in brown crayon, faintly ruled; top line of text above top line of frame.
Writing Space:220 x 105
Marginal Headings:In GP names of pilgrims in margins in red by scribe; some glosses in ink of text by scribe eg f69 in the Man of Law's Tale; marginal names in Melibeus.
Running Titles:Red name of pilgrim eg. The Knight on both rectos and versos.
Table of Contents:On f2 (second original flyleaf), is a list of tales in order, in red ink by the scribe; no folio numbers added.
Illuminated Initials:On f3 (opening of text) 4-line initial on parti-coloured blue and purple-red ground with white highlights; short sprays from corners with green leaves, gold buds; smaller 2-line versions of same begin other tales.
Paragraph Marks:Blue paraphs define stanzas in Monk's Tale.
Other Names (not owners):'Lumley' in lower margin of f1; names of planets, Saturnus, Iupiter, Mars on f2; on f272v are many names probably 16th century, Thomas Parker, Mavyle Darcy, Manfeld Seyer, Chetwyn, Dalyfant (??), Darcy Gedney, Mountfort, Hardyfeyl (??) Chetwynd, Phe Chalbynd, Sayer, Thomas Cobham, Stanley and others in mirror writing and ciphers. See both Manly and Rickert and Seymour for extensive provenance information.
Miscellaneous Info:Wife of Bath's Prologue is called her Tale; previous link is called her Prologue.
Further Information:Manly and Rickert I: 485-493. Seymour II: 138-143.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP