Parchment inner and outer bifolia, “sandwiching” paper sheets folded 4°.
1. Dragon (“Basilic”), similar to the pair
of twins listed in Piccard as “Drache” 266
& 319, dated 1401, Utrecht (Piccard 1980
, pp. 21, 90, and 97); a variant state from the same
mold as a tracing in the Briquet Archive in Geneva: “Papiers Briquet
,” Basilic 9024, Udine, dated
1402 (see Dragon.014.1
in the Thomas L. Gravell Archive (www.gravell.org). See
also Da Rold
2003, figs. 1-2: Qq
2. Dog (“Chien entier”), very near Briquet
1413-16), but if both were made from the same mold, it would appear that the Dd
stock was made earlier since the Dd watermark preserves considerably better
detail. A very close match occurs in the unpublished tracings of Briquet, in
the Briquet Archive in Geneva: “Papiers
,” Chien 6652, Archiv. Palerme, dated 1416; this example
is reproduced in The Thomas L. Gravell Watermark
. The Briquet tracing and a betaradiograph are reproduced
as figs. 1-2 in Mosser 2001
. See also Da Rold
, fig. 3. Cf. Zonghi
mark No. 989, dated 1400; fols. 194-203
The outer parchment folios are variable, measuring 28-28.5 x 17-19 cm; the inner
parchment folios are also variable, but always much shorter and narrower than the outer
ones, ranging between 24.5-26.5 cm in length x 17-18 cm in width. The paper folios are
approximately 29 x 20 cm; thus, the original sheets were probably of the size known as
“Royal.” (See also Da Rold
Formerly 7 modern paper fly leaves, foliated “i-vii”; after conservation,
these have been replaced by four modern parchment leaves preceding the first gathering.
Fols. 30-35 signed “ff, g, h, [I?], k, l” respectively on the rectos; fols.
49-59 signed “1-.11.”; fols. 73-84 signed “A-M”
(“C” not visible on fol. 75); fols. 97-108 signed “[aj]-axij”;
fols. 121-132 signed “b.j-bxij” (though some are at least partially lost to
wear); fols. 145-153 signed “c.j-c.ix” (nothing visible on 154 or 156);
fols. 169-180 signed “d.j-c.ix” (nothing visible on 170 or 174 where wear
has occurred). The first recto of the second half of each gathering is
characteristically marked with a “+” (indicating that the quire is
fully gathered). The MS has a modern foliation, in pencil, in the upper righthand
corner, which incorporates the missing leaves (i.e., replacement stubs and parchment
folios are numbered).note
24 (–1.24, 2.23, 3.22, 4.21, 5, 9.16, 10.15, 11.14)
24 (–1, 13) fols. 25-48
24 (–12.13) fols. 49-72
24 fols. 73-96
24 fols. 97-120
24 (–8.17) fols. 121-44
24 (–11.14, 19) fols. 145-68
24 (–20, stub fragments remain) fols. 169-92
24 (–14-24) fols. 193-205 (the previous misbinding
of fol. 201/.9 before fol. 200/.8 has been corrected)
+ modern replacement paper and parchment leaves for the rest of gathering
+ 4 parchment fly leaves
While the pages are unruled, the writing frame is marked in brown ink on the parchment and
either drypoint or, in some cases, drypoint and brown crayon on the paper. This frame is
variable on the parchment folios, ranging from 21 x 13 cm to 22 x 13 cm; on the paper
folios it is more consistent, measuring approximately 22 x 13 cm. There are 41-48 lines per
page, in single columns. The scribe has used a brown ink for the text and red or blue ink
for the paraphs. Initials, two lines high, are in blue with red penwork flourishes.
Catchwords appear on the lower right corner of the last verso of each (undamaged)
There are no running titles except for those added in several tales by a later hand. 2-line
blue initials with red penwork flourishes mark text openings. Although the scribe had no
interest in providing running titles, he has done a thorough job of acquiring marginal and
interlinear glosses, some of which, judging by the darker ink, may have been added later
(e.g., on fol. 56r); most, however, seem to have been copied at the
same time as the text.
On fol. 136v
, Dd shares with numerous other MSS at that point in FkT the
use of paraphs to mark the long series of exempla. They visually increase in tempo and
density until between VI 1426-56 there is a marker ca. every three lines. On this folio in
Dd, for example, there is a smaller brown ¶ (written contemporaneously with the text)
and a larger accompanying red ¶ at VI 1428, 1431, 1434, 1437, 1439, 1442, 1443, 1445,
1448, 1451, and 1453. Hg
a similar appearance. Gg
“hash” marks indicating where paraphs should be placed at each of these same
points, but the rubricator has missed them. El
) achieves a decorative zenith at this point
in the text, with blue, gold, and violet-colored champs nearly filling the lefthand border
of text, and a with neatly-arranged series of glosses in the (righthand) margin employing
their own system of blue paraphs and alternating red and violet penwork. There is perhaps
some irony that this elaborate system of decoration should accompany a section of text (VI
1425-56) of which Manly-Rickert say: “There are few pages in CT from the authorship
of which one would more gladly absolve Chaucer than the latter part of this Complaint of
The hand in Dd, while variable in size (1.5-2 mm in body height), is extremely upright and
otherwise uniformly executed throughout the MS. The script for the scribe’s bookhand is
anglicana formata; the rubrics (or “headings”) are
in a similar but somewhat larger script, which is perhaps a hybrid
anglicana, containing few features of the newer secretary
script. The serifs of letter-forms such as m
, and u
exhibit the influence of the semiquadrata text hand (e.g., Petti 13
) in displaying
the pronounced “feet” characteristic of the hybrid or
bastard varieties of anglicana.
The use of anglicana two-compartment a is
consistent. The scribe uses sigma s both initially and finally, while long
s occurs occasionally in initial position and invariably in medial
position. An 8-shaped s, similar to the scribe’s g
but often without closure of the upper lobe on the lower right, is used infrequently, usually
at the end of a line. The d graph is always the looped anglicana form. Both open and circular e are used, the latter
reserved for final position. Long (anglicana) r is
the primary form for that graph, except in ligature with o, where a z-shaped form is used. The long r is always connected to
the following letter.
Thorn and yogh are used frequently. Abbreviations for THAT and AND; are used ca. 25% of the
time; abbreviated WITH is rare. Word final m in him and hem is frequently abbreviated. In the headings, the script varies little, the
primary difference being the use of a tailed secretary
g in place of the 8-shaped anglicana form. In
several of the later headings, such as that for MkT, the scribe seems to
be experimenting with a more angular duct–characteristic of “bastard”
versions of a bookhand–thereby producing an impression of jaggedness.
Rebound in 1862 by Wiseman
whole calf over millboard, with blind-tooled, geometrical designs. Sewn on five bands.
Disbound in 2004-05 and conserved by Kristine
Rose: new parchment and paper replace missing leaves, resewn on
five double bands, to be bound in alum-tawed binding. Pages patched where previously
Blake, Norman F. The Textual Tradition of the Canterbury Tales.
London: Edward Arnold, 1985. Esp. Ch. 7.
Caie, Graham D. “The Significance of the Early Manuscript Glosses (with Special
Reference to the Wife of Bath’s Prologue).” Chaucer Review
10 (1975-76): 350-60.
Caie, Graham D. “The Significance of Marginal Glosses in the Earliest Manuscripts of
The Canterbury Tales.” In David Lyle Geffrey, ed. Chaucer and
Scriptural Tradition. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1984. 75-88.
Da Rold, Orietta. “A Study of Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Diss. De Montfort University, 2002.
Da Rold, Orietta. “The Quiring System in Cambridge University Library MS Dd.4.24 of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” The Library Seventh Series,
Vol. 4 (2003): 107-28.
Da Rold, Orietta. “The Significance of the Corrections in Cambridge University
Library MS Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Chaucer
Review 41 (2007): 393-438.
Doyle, A. I., and M. B. Parkes. “The Production of Copies of the Canterbury Tales and the Confessio Amantis in the Early Fifteenth Century.” In
Ed. M. B. Parkes and A. G. Watson, eds. Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts, and Libraries: Essays
Presented to N. R. Ker. London: Scolar Press, 1978. 163-210.
Emden, A. B. A Biographical Register of the University of Cambridge to
1500. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963.
Furnivall, Frederick J., ed. The Cambridge MS. Dd.4.24 of Chaucer’s
Canterbury Tales, Completed by the Egerton MS. 2726 (The Haistwell MS). 1st Series, no. 95 (Part 1, issue
for 1901) and 96 (Part 2, issue for 1902). London: For the Chaucer Society, 1902.
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New
York: Peter Smith, 1933. 189.
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. 1:100-7.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 95-100.
McKitterick, David. Cambridge University Library, A History: The Eighteenth
and Nineteenth Centuries. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Mosser, Daniel W. “The Charles-Moïse Briquet Watermark Archive in Geneva.”
Looking at Paper: Evidence & Interpretation. Symposium Proceedings. Toronto, 1999.
Ottawa: Canadian Conservation Institute, 2001. 122-7.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.
Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 11-13; 15-20.
Samuels, M. L. “Chaucer’s Spelling.” Middle English
Studies Presented to Norman Davis in Honour of his Seventieth Birthday. Ed. Douglas Gray and E. G. Stanley.
Oxford: Clarendon, 1983. 17-37. Rpt. in The English of Chaucer and his Contemporaries: Essays by
M. L. Samuels and J. J. Smith. Ed. J. J. Smith. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press, 1988. 23-37.
Samuels, M. L. “Scribes and Manuscript Traditions.” In Felicity Riddy, ed. Regionalism in Late Medieval Manuscripts and Texts. Cambridge: D. S. Brewer, 1991. 1-7.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume II, The
Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1997. 43-7.
Tschann, Judith. “The Layout of Sir Thopas in the Ellesmere,
Hengwrt, Cambridge Dd.4.24, and Cambridge Gg.4.27 Manuscripts.” Chaucer Review 20
Venn, John and J. A. Venn. Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part I, from the
Earliest Times to 1751. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1924.