Paper, 2° and 4°.
1. Mountains/Three hills with jagged bottom edge surmounted by a
Cross (“Monts”), unidentified, 4° (a pair of twins,
one with a crossed ascender, and one on which the ascender appears to lack the
horizontal elements of the cross): pp. 1-44; 73-190 (pp. 71-72 are an added
singleton without a visible watermark.)
2. Bull’s head (“Tête de
boeuf”), 2°, close to Briquet
15068 (1462): pp. 45-70
3. Bull’s head (“Tête de
boeuf”), 2°, nearest to Briquet
15204-15206 (1440-51), but it is definitely not any of
those; the watermark in Pp has two ears: pp. 191-224
4. Bull’s head (“Tête de
boeuf”), 4°, unidentified, with only the nostrils and
(sometimes) the lower portion of the nose of the lower half of the watermark
showing, and a five-pronged ascender and (sometimes) the tips of horns,
approximately 2.7 cm apart, of the upper half visible; similar to the second
mark listed above, but with attendant chainlines 4.2 cm apart as compared with
3.8 cm apart in number two). Possibly similar to Piccard
Ochsenkopf VII.852; VII.564 (chainline spacing and alignment
are closest to the latter) (1440-55); VII.435; VII.294 (1466-70); it is also
very similar to a mark found in Ry²
the bent tip of the ascender (similar to Briquet
Tête de Boeuf, 15054 [1441-1445], with attendant chainlines 3.8 cm apart):
5. Cart (“Char”), 4°, near Briquet
3544 (1433, with variants to 1473): p.
26.9 x 17.7 cm.
Pp comprises two, originally separate, MSS bound together and, because it is
tightly-bound, the sections in 4° can be challenging to collate. The following
collation follows the one proposed in Mosser
the justification for the collation is presented in some detail (several typographical
errors in that article are silently corrected here). Cf. Edwards
1985, pp. xxiii-xxiv, and McKitterick and
1992, pp. 42-43, which propose two collations that at times differ
from each other and which both differ considerably from the one presented here. Neither
makes specific reference to the symmetrical structure that results from folding paper
in 4° and 2° formats, which provide significant clues in determining the collation of a
24 (–1, 2) pp. 1-44 (catchword on p. 44)
14 (–14: left blank? or bearing Legend of Good Women ll. 706-776? “Explicit” at the foot
of p. 70) pp. 45-70
22 (–1, ±2; pp. 71-72 added by scribe 3) pp.
71-112 (catchword on p. 112)
20 (–2.19, 3.18, 20 [19 and 20 blank and canceled?])
24 pp. 143-190 (a blank quarter sheet is pasted to p. 190,
10 pp. 191-210 (a blank quarter sheet is pasted to p. 210,
8 (–8) pp. 211-224
16 pp. 225-256
16+1 (16+χ¹) pp. 257-290
14 pp. 291-318
18 pp. 319-354
6 pp. 355-366
(?) pp. 367-391 (following p. 377, two pages have been stuck together and paginated as one. See below under Provenance.)
The final structure in the volume (Part II, Q ) has suffered several losses of text.
The text of the “Compleynt of Mars” (ll. 1-28 [p.
378], 57-84 [p. 379], and 29-56 [p. 380]) was originally copied consecutively. The
folio containing pp. 379/380 has been reversed; the lower half of the
“Cart” watermark appears at the fore-edge. It is possible that the entire
text was originally copied and that the final 214 lines of text were later lost, along
with the first 45 lines of the “Complaint of
Venus”: at 28 lines per page, and allowing for an explicit and
incipit, this would require 4.6 folios. The final 43 lines of “Anelida and Arcite,” and the first 77 lines of “Fortune” are also lost; with a page containing
approximately 32 lines in this section, another two folios can be conjectured as
missing. However, there is a “vacat” in the gutter of p. 384, possibly
written in the informal hand of the scribe. Since the last line of “Fortune,” contains a rhyme for the last line of text on p.
384 (“soueryn:atteyn”), it is certainly possible that this was the
scribe’s solution to a gap in the copy text. It is also possible that if more of
the final part of the MS had survived we would discover evidence to associate gathering
6 with a larger structure.
Originally two discrete MSS (Part I and Part II). Pp. 1-90, formatted in single columns, are
margined (plummet) ca. 21 x 14.5 cm (pp. 71-72, text added in a different hand, are
margined ca. 21 x 14.5 cm). Pp. 91-114, in a double-column format, are margined in drypoint
ca. 21 x 14 cm. Pp. 125-224 are in a single-column format, margined in plummet ca. 21 x 14
cm. In Part II, pp. 225-346, in single columns, are margined in plummet ca. 21 x 12 cm.
From p. 346-p. 377, the single-column format is margined in plummet ca. 23 x 11 cm. Pp.
378-391, single columns, is framed in drypoint, 23 x 11 cm. Scribes 4 and 5 have difficulty
conforming the the left and right margins. When Scribe 5 takes over in Parson’s Tale, he leaves so little room in the margins that the glosses
provided up to that point by Scribe 4 are curtailed.
Scribe 1: pp. 1-44=Part I, Q  (body height 1-1.5
mm). Scribe 1’s hand is primarily secretary in its
cursiveness, spread, and letter forms, but some anglicana letter
forms are mixed in: looped d; circular e; 8-shaped g is used more frequently than the tailed form; long r
is more common than the 2-shaped form and the even rarer short form. The scribe uses both
looped and unlooped forms of w. Long s occurs
initially, medially, and in ligature with t; B-shaped s
and sigma s are used finally. The scribe uses a single-compartment form
of a for minuscule forms and alternates two forms for emphatic, majuscule
a: one, a two-story form, the other with an approach stroke that does
not connect to the lower lobe, which is executed in the same fashion as the minuscule form.
Thorn is used infrequently, primarily in abbreviations, and is indistinguishable from y, e.g., yt (THAT). Abbreviations
Scribe 2: pp. 45-70; 73-224 (body height 1-1.5 mm).
Similar to Scribe 1 in many respects, but more upright, with fewer non-secretary letter forms, and even greater use of abbreviations. Tailed g with a counter-clockwise tail is regular; short r is
also regular except following round letter forms, where the 2-shaped form is used. The hand
also features long s initially and medially, with a B-shaped form in
final position. Minuscule a occurs in several forms: a rounded,
single-compartment secretary form; a second similar to the
first, but with a dish-shaped headstroke making the form appear more box-like; a third
form, used rarely, is identical to the majuscule, two-story form, but when it occurs other
than line-initially with names, it is not necessarily for emphasis, as in “As”,
the second word in line 24 on p. 49. The graph for þ is distinct
from the scribe’s y. Looped d and circular e are also used consistently, though beginning on p. 143, a number of
features in the scribal hand change: whereas up to that point in Scribe 2’s work,
forms of e have been primarily circular, they are now open, horned forms;
forms of w appear that are more complex, formed with broken strokes; a is more squarish. But these forms do appear sporadically earlier (e.g.,
the w forms on p. 134), and it may be that the change to prose serves as
the catalyst for this more formal, angular version of the hand.
Scribe 3: pp. 71-72 (body height 2-2.5 mm). Scribe 3
writes only a single folio, adding lines 777-845 of Legend of Good
Women. This is a larger, anglicana hand, giving the
impression of a leftward slant. The hand has many calligraphic features: rounded feet on
the minims; a triangular lower compartment on two-compartment g; a w comprising two distinct approach strokes with the second terminating in
a B-shaped element; a looped d with an angular lobe; short r with the headstroke formed separately, as is the headstroke on c. The a graph is a two-story form, though sometimes it is
executed as a single compartment bisected by a separate cross-stroke.
Scribe 4: 225-346 (7 up) (body height 2-2.5 mm). The first scribe in Part
II of Pp writes a bastard anglicana hand, very upright with
ample spread, an impression generated by the separation between most letter forms. The g graph is a tailed form, with horns above the headstroke and a sweeping,
sometimes hooked tail. The scribe uses two forms of d: a looped form with
an angle on the lefthand side of the lobe; and an unlooped form that usually has a straight
lefthand side of the lobe. The c and short r graphs are
formed with a separate headstroke. A z-shaped r occurs in final position
and following round letter forms. The scribe’s incipits and explicits are in a
similar script, but larger and with a great deal more flourish added to the ascenders.
Rubricated Latin quotations are also in a larger, more upright, and more calligraphic
version of the text script, with more evidence of quadrata influence. The use of a
horizontal figure eight, which sometimes may indicate an omitted nasal, but which is
usually otiose, seems to be a scribal tic.
Scribe 5: pp. 346 (6 up)-391 (body height 2 mm). An
accomplished anglicana hand: the letters are formed on the basis
of individual minim strokes with semiquadrata feet. The
orientation is very upright with very controlled spacing. The primary w
form is constructed with two intersecting, billowing loops and a B-shaped element
completing the form on the right. There are two forms of a, both
two-story types: one, very calligraphic in appearance, has an angular, “horned”
lower compartment, with a simpler upper story that extends well above the x-height; the
second is used less frequently and is based on a single lobe bisected by a horizontal
stroke. The hand uses circular e, long r, with a
2-shaped form initially and following round letter forms. Thorn is distinct from y. Final n routinely finishes with an otiose flourish.
The scribe’s headings and explicits are in a larger, more angular bastard anglicana
hand that uses a short r and open e. The hand becomes
somewhat more cursive and loose as the stint progresses. Despite the hand’s
professional appearance, the scribe has difficulty staying within the bounds of the written
space (see above under Format).
Part I has no rubrication; blank spaces have been left, with guide letters, for initials that
were never executed. Part II has rubricated names, litterae notabiliores,
paraphs, incipits and explicits. Many of the top lines in Part II have flourished ascenders. On
pp. 265-275, the first initial on each page is elaborately executed in the same ink as is used
for text and decorated with red ink and yellow wash. Parson’s
Prologue begins on p. 276 with a 3-line initial B. This initial
is also executed in the brown ink used for the text and is colored with the red ink and yellow
wash as described above. This initial is also decorated with with foliage, strawberries, and
trefoils. A yellow wash highlights the initial capitals in the Parson’s Prologue as well as many of the majuscule letters in the prose
sections of Part II.
Brown morocco, “Pepys
’ style F
binding”: “French corners–triangular tools, with a design suggesting iron
work, intended to fill the angles of a spine panel” (Nixon
1984, xviii; 30). Seventeenth century, after 1688.
Boffey, Julia, and Carol Meale. “Selecting the Text: Rawlinson C. 86 and Some Other
Books for London Readers.” In Felicity Riddy, ed. Regionalism in Late Mediaeval Manuscripts
and Texts: Essays Celebrating the Publication of A Linguistic Atlas of Late Mediaeval English. Cambridge:
D. S. Brewer, 1991. pp. 143-69.
Boffey, Julia. “The Reputation and Circulation of Chaucer’s Lyrics in the
Fifteenth Century.” Chaucer Review 28 (1993): 23-40.
Edwards, A. S. G., introd. Manuscript Pepys 2006: a Facsimile, Magdalene
College, Cambridge. The Facsimile Series of the Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, vol. 6. Norman, OK: Pilgrim
Books; Woodbridge and Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer, 1985.
Erler, Mary C. “Fifteenth-Century Owners of Chaucer’s Work: Cambridge,
Magdalene College MS Pepys 2006.” Chaucer Review 38 (2004): 401-14.
Hammond, Eleanor P. “MS. Pepys 2005—A Chaucerian Codex.” Modern Language Notes 19 (1904): 196-8.
Hammond, Eleanor P. Chaucer: A Bibliographical Manual. 1908; rpt. New
York: Peter Smith, 1933. 292.
James, Montague Rhodes. A Descriptive Catalogue of the Library of Samuel
Pepys. Part III: Medieval Manuscripts. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, Ltd., 1923. 60-3.
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. 1:406-9.
McCormick, Sir William and Janet E. Heseltine. The Manuscripts of
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: A Critical Description of Their Contents. Oxford: Clarendon, 1933. 552-3.
Mosser, Daniel W. “Corrective Notes on the Structures and Paper Stocks of Four MSS
Containing Extracts from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.” Studies in
Bibliography 52 (1999): 97-114.
Owen, Charles A., Jr. The Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales.
Cambridge: D.S. Brewer, 1991. 116-17.
Nixon, Howard M. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College
Cambridge, Volume 6: Bindings. Gen. ed. Robert Latham. Woodbridge, Suffolk: D. S. Brewer, 1984.
Pace, George B. “Four Unpublished Chaucer Manuscripts.” Modern
Language Notes 63 (1948): 457-62.
Seymour, Michael C. “The English Manuscripts of Mandeville’s Travels.”
Edinburgh Bibliographical Society Transactions 4 (1966): 167-210. 179.
Seymour, Michael C. A Catalogue of Chaucer Manuscripts. Volume I, Works
before The Canterbury Tales. Aldershot and Brookfield: Scolar Press, 1995. 14; 26; 41; 90; 134.