The Index of Middle English Prose

February 2006
160 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Index of Middle English Prose
ISBN: 9781843840534
Format: Hardback

The Index of Middle English Prose

Handlist XVIII: Manuscripts in the Library of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and the Fitzwilliam Museum

Kari Anne Rand

`The Index of Middle English Prose when completed will be a monumental achievement' REVIEW OF ENGLISH STUDIES
Two very different collections are surveyed in this volume. The manuscripts of Pembroke College, Cambridge are typical of a medieval foundation. Its core of books is a working library of that period, representing the interests and needs of its Fellows, very often given or bequeathed by them to the College. The collection was substantially enlarged in 1599 through the gift by William Smart of Ipswich of a large number of manuscripts which until the Reformation had belonged to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds. By contrast the emphasis of the Fitzwilliam Museum collection is to a great extent art historical. At its heart are the manuscripts bequeathed by Lord Fitzwilliam in 1816. These were supplemented throughout the 19th century by a series of gifts and bequests, culminating in 1904 in the largest bequest to date, from Frank McClean, of some 203 manuscripts.
In spite of the different character of the two collections, both contain a range of Middle English prose items, among them Chaucer's Boece, a complete Wycliffite sermon cycle and several Paston letters [all from Pembroke], the Anlaby Cartulary, the 'Canutus' pestilence tract, the Brut, Lydgate's Serpent of Division and Nicholas Love's Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ [from the Fitzwilliam].

KARI ANNE RAND is Professor of Older English Literature at the University of Oslo.


An indispensable tool for research for all those interested in the language, literature, history and culture of medieval England. SCRIPTORIUM
The degree of scholarship in the entries is impressive, and provides yet more evidence of the extent to which the IMEP is fundamentally altering our knowledge of Middle English texts and their relationships. ARCHIVES

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