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
Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodley 686
MS Appellation:Bo2 (Manly and Rickert)
Title:Canterbury Tales
Author:Chaucer and Lydgate
Contents:Canterbury Tales, lacking the prose tales of Melibeus, and Parson and also the tales of Monk, Nun's Priest and Canon's Yeoman. Eleven poems, all by Lydgate.
Date Range:1425-1450
Scribal Hands:
Examples of the hand. Click on the link above for full details and images of individual letter forms.

Dialect:S. Worcs
No of Folios:1-217
Pagination:Foliated in brown ink in top right corner recto in a later hand.
Signatures:Regular fifteenth century signatures from a-z. After 'z' the quires are numbered with the symbols for 'and', 'con', and 'est' followed by the whole words 'est' and 'amen'.
Catchwords:Catchwords are contained in a scroll feature and are regularly present.
Page Size:386 x 245
Frame:In violet/purple ink. Double lines surround the writing space. Another set of parallel lines defines the space for glosses.
Writing Space:248 x 110
Incipits and Explicits:Incipits and explicits regularly in the scribe's display script in red ink.
Running Titles:On every folio in red ink.
Borders:A four sided border for the opening of the Tales on f1. Thereafter three quarter borders signal tales and champ initials with sprays are used for prologues. Gold, blue, pink, orange, red and some green.
Historiated Initials:On f1 the initial letter 'W' contains the figure of a man holding his hat.
Illuminated Initials:4-line blue and pink initials on a gold ground introduce tales. 4-line gold initials on pink and blue parti-coloured ground introduce prologues.
Paragraph Marks:Blue paraphs with red flourishing precede both running heads and incipits and explicits. Paraphs for the verse are contained within the parallel lines which surround the text.
Flourished Initials:Blue initials with red flourishing define incipits and explicits.
Other Names (not owners):Gryfyn on f6; Jho on f21; Thomas Smythe on f173; Belthiam on f139; George Vpton on f55; Frauncis Vpton on f106
Miscellaneous Info:Manly and Rickert say two or three small semi-cursive hands. 1. ff1-96; 2. ff96-167; 3. ff167-end. However, it is probably a single hand which varied slightly with copying different items at different times.
Further Information:Manly, John M., and Edith Rickert, eds. The Text of the Canterbury Tales: Studied on the Basis of All Known Manuscripts. 8 vols. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1940. I. 64-70. Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Vol. II, The Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 168-171. Scott, Kathleen L. Later Gothic Manuscripts 1390-1490. 2 vols. Volume Six of A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles. Ed. J. J. G. Alexander. London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 1996. 2:141, 250.
Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York, King's Manor, York YO1 7EP