Digital Scriptorium
San Marino, Huntington Library, EL 26 C 09
Description: ff. ii + iv + 232 + iv + ii - Present binding; description by Maria Fredericks, 24 Aug. 2003: Removed from previous modern green goatskin binding in 1994, re-bound in 1995 in the Huntington Library's Conservation Department by guest conservator Anthony G. Cains (Trinity College, Dublin), with the assistance of Maria Fredericks, Rare Book Conservator at the Huntington. Sewn on seven double flax cords using original 15th-century stations. Boards of quarter-sawn English oak laced on and pegged, covered with alum-tawed calfskin. Lacing-in pattern derived from evidence found on original pastedowns. Pastedowns bound in but not adhered to boards. See also Anthony G. Cains, "The Bindings of the Ellesmere Chaucer," Huntington Library Quarterly 58 (1996) 127-157. Note: The two modern parchment flyleaves that were part of the collation in 1989 are no longer bound in the codex, but are boxed with the old binding. Previous binding: Bound probably in 1911 by Riviere and Son in dark green morocco, with the Egerton arms stamped in gold on the front cover; vellum doublures; gilt edges. Manly and Rickert, 1:149, have repeated A. Egerton's statement in the introduction to the facsimile, that the manuscript was brought from Ashridge to London in 1802 for rebinding. This date, however, must refer to the earlier binding, since the designation "Riviere and Son" came into use only in 1881, and since the style of the binding places it in the early twentieth century. The manuscript was removed from its previous binding in or before 1911, to permit photography page by page in flat condition for the facsimile; the rebinding after photography was evidently the occasion for the work of Riviere and Son. Gilt but uneven edges demonstrate that the book was trimmed prior to 1911; stains on the recto of the first contemporary front flyleaf and on the verso of the last contemporary flyleaf (former pastedowns) from leather turn-ins of a previous binding. - C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). The Canterbury Tales: the new Ellesmere Chaucer facsimile (of Huntington Library MS EL 26 C 9) / by Geoffrey Chaucer; edited by Daniel Woodward and Martin Stevens. (San Marino, Calif.: Huntington Library; Tokyo: Yushodo Co, 1995). The English Novel, n. 2. De Ricci , 132-33. Aspects of Medieval England, n. 33. For selected bibliography on the text, see full description; for selected bibliography on the illumination, see full description and Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts (forthcoming). See also the following general Chaucer bibliographies: E. P. Hammond, Chaucer: a bibliographical manual (New York 1908). D. D. Griffith, Bibliography of Chaucer 1908-1953 (Seattle 1955). W. R. Crawford, Bibliography of Chaucer 1954-63 (Seattle 1967). L. Y. Baird, A Bibliography of Chaucer 1964-1973 (Boston 1977).
Number of Parts: 1 - Number of Images Available: 0
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Language: English Country: England Century: 15th
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Part 1: ff. i-iv verso + 1-232v + i-iv verso
Description: - Parchment - 284 x 394 mm - 1-298. Catchwords trimmed, the only visible remainder at the end of quire 23, on f. 184v. ; 48 lines of verse or prose (although occasionally laid out in stanza form, thus with only 42 lines of text, e.g. ff. 50-62v, the Man of Law's tale). Ruled space, 310-315 x 165-167 mm; ruling in reddish-brown ink: double bounding rules the full length and width of the page, enclosing the text space; a double rule across the upper margin for running headlines; a single vertical rule in the outer margin to frame gloss space (occasionally double, in which case the row of pricking holes occurs between the 2 rules; a single rule apparently in dry point in quire 29, ff. 225-232). Round prick marks in the 3 outer margins, sometimes cropped, with a double set designating the second line from the bottom (a triple set for the same purpose in quire 14, ff. 105-112). Contemporary flyleaves ruled in the same manner as the rest of the volume.
Country: EnglandCardinal point:
Region: City:
Assigned Date: s. XVinSearchable Date Range: 1400 - 1415
Dated by scribe: NoInscribed Date:
Document: NoNumber of Scribes: ;
Scribe(s): Adam Pinkhurst
Script: Anglicana formata
Figurative Decoration: Twenty-three miniatures (one of each of the pilgrims); see full description of manuscript for details.
Other Decoration: Decoration in a conservative style; 6- to 4-line white-highlighted initials in blue, pink and dull red (little or no green) on a gold ground, infilled with leaf designs, with ¾ bar and foliage border in the same colors, including daisy buds, interlace and an occasional grotesque (ff. 1, 87v); 4- to 2-line gold initials on whitepatterned particolored blue and pink grounds (no sprays).
Notes: For the identification of the scribe as Adam Pinkhurst, see Linne R. Mooney, "'Chaucer's Scribe," Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies 81 (2006) 97-138. Latin
Number of Texts: 8

Text 1: ff. ii verso-iv
Author: Rotheley
Title: Ballad on the House of Vere
Language(s): English
Incipit: Halfe in a dede sclepe not fully revyued/ Rudely my sylfe as I lay alone
Explicit: Thy makere standyng in dyssete and greuaunce/ Which cawsed hym the so symply to avaunce, et cetera.
Notes: This text added, s. XVmed/ex. "per Rotheley" in the hand of the scribe in the outer margin of f. iv, before the envoy. IMEV 1087 . E. F. Piper, "The Royal Boar and the Ellesmere Chaucer," Philological Quarterly 5 (1926) 330-40. 

Text 2: f. iv verso
Language(s): English
Incipit: From Ioue aboue a spendyng breath/ ys Lent to vs to Leade oure Lyfe
Explicit: My ynward mane to heauenly thyngs wold trade me/ And styll thys fleash doth euermore dysswade me.
Notes: The 6 verses added, s. XVI; signed: R. North. 

Text 3: f. iv verso
Language(s): English
Incipit: Retaine, refuse, no frend, no foe/ Condeme, alowe, no chance, no choise
Explicit: So helpe so hate, mistrvst your frend/ as blisfull daies your Life may end.
Notes: The 6 verses added, s. XVI; signed: R. N. 

Text 4: ff. 1-232v
Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
Title: Canterbury Tales
Language(s): English
Incipit: Whan that Aprill with hise shoures soote/ The droghte of March hath perced to the roote
Explicit: Beth fructuous and that in litel space/ And to do wel god sende yow his grace.; the plentee of Ioye by hunger and thurst and the reste by trauaille and the lyf by mortificacioun of synne.; that boghte vs with the precious blood of his herte so þat I may been oon of hem at the day of doome that shulle be saued. Qui cum patre et cetera.
Notes: See full description of manuscript for details. 

Text 5: back flyleaf, f. v
Language(s): English
Incipit: thes worldly ioies, that faier in sight apeares/ arr Lvring baits whereto oure minds we cast
Explicit: My inward mane, to hevenly things wold trade me/ But aye this flesh, doth still and still disswade me.
Notes: These 6 verses added s. XVI; signed R. N. 

Text 6: back flyleaf, f. v
Language(s): English
Incipit: In triflieng tales, by poets told/ whoe spends their time, and beats their braine
Explicit: Svtch folke build vpp, their howses in the sand/ and leves godds trewth, by which we owght to stand.
Notes: These 6 verses added s. XVI; signed R.N. 

Text 7: back flyleaf, f. vii verso
Title: Table of Contents to the Canterbury Tales
Language(s): English
Incipit: The knyght, Of Arcite and Palamoun; The Myller, Of Alison & Absolon & hende Nicholas
Explicit: The Person, Of the iii parties of penitence et cetera.
Notes: Added s. XV#^med#. 

Text 8: back flyleaf, f. viii
Author: Geoffrey Chaucer
Title: Truth
Language(s): English
Incipit: Fle fro the prees and dwell with sothfastnesse/ Suffise vnto thi good though it be smal
Explicit: Hold the hye wey and lat thi gost the lede/ And trouthe shal deliuere it is no drede.
Notes: Added s. XV#^in#. IMEV 809 . H. J. Todd, Illustrations of the Lives and Writings of Gower and Chaucer (London 1810) 131-32 from this manuscript; the Envoy not copied here.