Lancelot-Grail Intranet Site-Project Manuscripts

© Alison Stones, assisted by Michael Gullick

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London, British Library, MS Additional 10292-4 (hereafter Add.)

Estoire, Merlin and Suite Vulgate du Merlin, Lancelot, Queste, Mort Artu: Complete.
3 volumes bound as four (opening pages of Add. 10293 and 10294 bound separately), 216, 383, 96 ff., Add. 10292: 395x 302(245x298); Add. 10293: 400 x 302(292x218);  Add. 10294: 398x298(292x223). 2 cols. 50 lines.  Quires: Add. 10292: quires of 8, two quires of singletons ff. 73-80v, 81-88v;  Add. 10293: quires of 8 throughout.  Add. 10294: quires of 8 throughout.  Occasional catchwords.

Written in textualis media in 3 columns, 50 lines, in brown or black ink, rubrics (above most of the miniatures) in red ink.  Many scribes, analysed by Michael Gullick.  Add. 10292: five scribes: A: ff. 1-38 col. c, line 2, word 6; B: ff. 38 col. c line 2, word 7-55v col. c line 42 word 6, close to A but a little more formal; C: ff. 55v col. c, line 42, word 7-121r.  Begins looking spiky, ends up looking like A and B.  D: ff. 121v-211v, begins rather small, then changes to look quite like A and B.  E, ff. 212r-216v.  Begins writing rather squarish in proportion (as scribe C of Add. 10293), but ends looking rather like scribe D.  On f. 13r-v is  small piece of parchment stuck over a cut out square hole to supply a correction.  This is written more formally than any of the text scribes.  A and B appear to have written the 'ideal' script.  C, D, and E begin by writing their natural hands and then move towards A and B as if told to follow a model and 'write like this'.  This implies an overall supervision.  Two rubricators: R1 (=R2 of Add. 10293): ff. 1-104v; R2: ff. 105-208v (the last section, ff. 109-216, has spaces left blank for rubrics). The division of rubricating hands corresponds to the division of illuminators, see below, and is notably different from the division of main scribes.  Add. 10293: three scribes: A: ff. 1-71v.  Begins small and tight, gets larger and looser over first 50 leaves.  Generally a little spiky.  B: ff. 72-127v.  Begins small and tight and gets larger and looser over first few leaves.  Ends by looking close to A.  C: ff. 128-383v.  Squarish proportion.  Size and ink colour variable.  Sometimes wrote with a slightly blunt quill which gives a thickened look.  Gets more casual during the course of writing, especially towards the end; probably got a little bored.  Two rubricators: R1 (=R1 of Add. 10294), ff. 1-128v.  R2 (=R1 of Add. 10292); ff. 129-383v.  As in Add. 10292, the rubricators are more formal than the scribes.  Add. 10294: one scribe.  Variable in size and ink colour.  Writes smaller in the second half of the volume.  One rubricator: R1=R2 of Add. 10293.  As in Add. 10292 and 10293, the rubricator is more formal than the scribe.  None of the scribes can be identified with any of the rubricators.

Penflourished initials, two lines high, on every page, often one or more initial in every column (unfinished in Add. 10292 on ff. 215v and 216); on Add. 10292, ff, 1, 61 and 216v, a penflourished initial with a bar containing decorative motifs in reserve (accompanying a miniature on f. 61).   Initials alternate red with dull turquoise flourishing and blue with red flourishing, borders with double cusped motifs and blobs or jagged motifs or both; loop and trail terminals in top and bottom margins. Guide letters in light brown ink.  The same flourisher worked throughout all three volumes.

Champie initials, mostly four lines high, following miniatures.  Champies without miniatures or rubrics, Add. 10292 f. 33v; Add, 10293, ff. 1, 3 [2 champies], 7, 119; space for a champie on f. 111v ); Add. 10294, f. 53.  Champies are by two hands, corresponding to the division of hands in the illumination, see below.

This copy has more illustrations than any other, so far as we know: 748 (counting the double-column opening miniature on Add. 10292, f. 1, as 2 miniatures).  Opening pages with miniatures and borders for Estoire (Add. 10292 f. 1), Merlin (Add. 10292, f. 76), Lancelot (Add. 10293, f. 1), Queste (Add. 10294, f. 1), but not for the Suite Vulgate du Merlin, nor for the Mort Artu.  A figured initial at the opening of Estoire (Add. 10292, f. 1); foliate initials at the openings of  Merlin (Add. 10292, f. 76);  Lancelot (Add. 10293, f. 1); and Queste (Add. 10294, f. 1), but not Mort Artu.  747 miniatures in one column (except on Add. 10292 f. 1 where the miniature is in 2 columns), illustrated by two principal artists: 1) Add. 10292, ff. 1-104v, 161-184; Add. 10293, ff. 1-199v; Add. 10294, entire volume; 2) Add. 10292, ff. 105-160v, 185-216v; Add. 10293, ff. 200-end.  Hand 1 uses an outer fillet of gold on Add. 10292 f. 1 and Add. 10294, f. 1 (with an additional line-drawn outer fillet); an outer fillet of silver in the first four quires of Add. 10293 (the first 23 miniatures, including f. 1).  Hand 1 also worked in Royal and Amst./Douce/Ryl.  His work is approximately dated by the inscription on the tomb in Add. 10292, f. 45: 26 February 1316 (1317 ns).  Hand 2 occurs in Add. 10292 and 10293.  For further analysis see Stones 1987.

Many notes written in leadpoint in the bottom margin on illustrated pages in all three volumes; none survive however in Add. 10292, ff. 105-208v, in the section rubricated by R2.

Add. 10292: Estoire, Merlin, Suite Vulgate du Merlin
Estoire: ff. 1-76 col. a, line 26 (S I; [Ponceau]).  No opening rubric. Text inc. Chil ki se tient et iuge au plus petit et au plus peceor du monde...  (S I 3.1 [Pon 1.1]).  Expl.  ...Si se taist atant li contes de tout les lignies qui de Celydoine issirent et retorne a parler dune estoire de Merlin quil couient a fine force adiouster a lestoire del s. Graal por ce que la brance i est et i apartient. Et commenche mes sires Robers en tel maniere comme vous porres oir sil est qui le vous die. Ore nous consaut sainte Marie.  (2 blank lines).  Explicit li commencemens de lestoire del s. Graal  Et chi apres uient lestoire de Merlin. Dieus nous maint tous a boine fin. Amen.  (S I 296. 24).  61 miniatures in one column (except f. 1 which is in two columns and has a border supporting figures), all preceded by a rubric and followed by a four-line champie initial (except ff. 1, 13 and 60 which have no rubric; f. 1 which has a six-line historiated initial instead of a champie; and f. 33v which has a champie initial without rubric or miniature), all illustrated by hand 1.  Gold fillet border on f. 1 only.

Merlin: ff. 76 col. a line 27 (follows Estoire without a break)-101v col. d, line 3 (S II; [MM]).  Rubric inc. Ensi que Dieus brisa infer et li dyable tienent leur parlement.   Text inc.  En ceste partie dist li contes que molt fu iries li anemis...  (S II 3.1; [cf. MM 18.1]).  Expl. ...Ensi fu Artus esleus a roy e tint la terre et le regne de Logres lonc tans en pais.  (S II 88.18): 27 miniatures by hand 1, all preceded by rubrics except f. 85v, and all followed by champie initials except f. 76 which has a foliate initial (and a border).
Suite Vulgate du Merlin continues without a break, ff. 101v col. d line 3-216v col. f, line 50 (last line) (S II 88.19-466).  No rubric. Text inc.  Et tant quil fist vn ior a sauoir par toute sa terre quil tenroit court enforcie...  (S II 88.19).  Expl.  ...Et il ot .j. senescal quil auoit norri dez enfance a qui il auoit toute sa terre commandee apres la mort Gratien et ce fu cil qui le trai et par qui il perdi le castel de Trebes si comme li contes le vous deuisera cha auant.  (1 blank line) Explicit lenserrement de Merlin. Dieus nous maint tous a boine fin. (S II 466). 149 illustrations: ff. 102-104v, 3 miniatures with rubrics by hand 1; ff. 105-160v: 74 miniatures with rubrics and champies by hand 2; ff. 161-184, 34 miniatures with rubrics and champies by hand 1 (except f. 175v which has a penflourished initial; hand 2 did the frame on f. 168); ff. 185-216v, 38 miniatures by hand 2, with rubrics (except on ff. 209v, 210, 210v, 211v (2), 213 (2), 214, 214v).

Add. 10293: Lancelot:ff. 1-383v (f. 1 separately bound) (S III, IV, V; [LM VII, VIII, I; LK, LH]). Champie initials, 4 lines high, by 2 hands, follow miniatures and correspond to the work of the two illuminators;  champie initials without miniatures or rubrics on ff. 3v (2 initials), 7, 119v; space for a champie initial on f. 111v.  437 miniatures in one column, of which 192 are by hand 1 ( ff. 1-199v), and 245 by hand 2 (ff. 200-383); preceded by rubrics except on ff. 1, 160v, 193v, 194; spaces for rubrics on ff. 344, 345, 346, 346v, 347, 348, 349v, 350, 351 (2 miniatures). Border supporting figures, hybrids, animals, f. 1; outer fillet of silver for the first 23 miniatures (in the first four quires).

The Lancelot text in Add. 10293 is not subdivided into sub-branches.  It is edited by Sommer in 3 vols. (S III, IV, V).  Micha bases his vols. VII and VIII on Add. 10293, ff. 1-129.  He uses different manuscripts for his edition of the rest of the Lancelot, and other editors use different manuscripts for their editions of parts of the Lancelot (see Text Editions Page).

1.  From Lancelot's loss of father and land to his installation at the Round Table: ff. 1-129 col. a, line 37 (S III [LK] LM VII-VIII]).  No opening rubric. Text inc.  En la marche de Gaule et de la Petite Bertaigne...  (S III 3.1; [LK 1.1]; LM VII 1).  Expl.  ...Ensi sen partent atant entre Galehot et Lancelot et sen vont en lor pais. et li roys et sa compaignie sen sont ale par petites iornees en Bretaigne. (S III 430.6; [LK 572.4]; LM VIII 490). 90 miniatures preceded by rubrics (except on f. 1), accompanied by a border on f. 1, by hand 1; 4 champie initials without miniatures or rubrics on ff. 3v (2 initials), 7, 119v; space for a champie initial on f. 111v.
2.  From the Journey to Sorelois to the Death of Galehot: ff. 129 col. a, line 38-180v col. a, line 19 (S IV, 3-155 [LM III, 1-252]).  Rubric inc.  Ensi que Lancelot releve le roy Galehot qui est cheus de son cheval. Et pour le duel quil avoit.   Text inc. En cheste partie si dist li contes. que Galehot se parti de la cort le roy Artu et enmaine vers son pais Lancelot son compaignon...  (S IV 3.1; [LK 572.5; LM III 1]).  Expl.  ... Et lors trespassa [Galehot] de cest siecle comme li plus preudoms au dit du cont qui onques fust au tamps de son eage. Car lez grans aumosnes que il fist ne seroient mie legierement acontees. Et ses nies Galehaudins fu reuestus de tout sa terre et rechut les hommages des barons.  (S IV 155.18; [LM III 252. XXXV]). 71 miniatures by hand 1, preceded by rubrics except on ff. 148v, 149, 150, 160v.
3.  Conte de la Charette: ff. 180v col. a, line 20--205, col. c (S IV 155.18-226.11; LH; LM II 1-108).  Rubric inc:  Ensi que la Dame du Lac et son escuer cheuauchent tant quil ont trouue Lancelot en .i. bois gisant tout forsenes.  Text inc.  Or dist li contes que quant Lancelot se fu partis de Sorelois et il fu hors de la terre si fist doel cascun ior...  (S IV 155.18; [LH 1.1; LM II 1.1, section XXXVI.1]).  Expl.  ...por la volente la royne acomplir et le roy lor otroia il.  (S IV 226.11; [LH 112; LM II, 108. XLII.12]).  88 miniatures, preceded by rubrics (except on ff. 191, 193v, 194), comprising 31 miniatures by hand 1 (ff. 180v-199v) and 5 miniatures by hand 2 (ff. 200-204v).
4.  Suites de la Charette: ff. 205, col. c. --251 col. c, line 21 (S IV 226-362; [LM II 108-419]).  No opening rubric. Text inc.  Grant fu la ioie et la feste...  ( S IV 226.11; [LM II 108. XLII. 12]) Expl.  ...Et quant Mordres fu montes sour son cheual si sen part du chevalier et de la damoisele. et se met en son chemin si com il estoit deuant. Si se taist orendroit li contes a parler de lui et retorne a parler de son frere Agrauain.  (S IV 362. 31; [LM II 419. LXIX. 23]).  52 miniatures by hand 2.
5.  Agravain: ff. 251 col. c, line 22-383v col. d, line 37 (S V; [LM IV-VI]). Rubric inc. Ensi que .j. pauillon en le fons dune tertre ou il avoit .j. chevalier mort.   Text inc. Chi endroit dist li contes ke quant Agravains se fu partis de sez compaignons si com vous auez oi quil erra .ii. iors sans auenture trover...  (S V 3.1; [LM IV.1]).  Expl.  ...Si y euint [sic] tant et tant en y ot asamble la uelle de la Pentecouste quil nest nuls qui le veist qui a meruelles ne le tenist.,followed by an erasure of three or four lines (S V 409.16; [LM VI 244. CVIII.16]). 188 miniatures preceded by rubrics (except on ff. 344, 345, 346, 346v, 347, 348, 349v, 350, 351-2 miniatures), all by hand 2.

Add. 10294: Queste, Mort Artu
Queste: ff. 1-53 col. b line 13 (S VI 3-199; [Pauphilet]).  No opening rubric. Text inc.  A la veille de pentecoste...  (S VI.3.1; [Pauphilet 1.2]).  Expl.  ...Et quant Bohort ot contees les auentures del Graal teles comme il les auoit veues si furent mises en escrit et gardes en labeie de Salesbieres dont maistre Gautiers Map lez traist a faire son liure del saint Graal por lamor del roi Henri son signor qui fist lestoire translater du latin en franchois. Si se taist atant li contes que plus nen dist des auentures del saint Graal.  (Pauphilet 280.5) (2 blank lines) Expliciont [sic] les auentures del saint Graal.   (S VI 199.5; the rubric for Mort Artu follows without a break).  25 miniatures, and a border on f. 1, all by hand 1, preceded by rubrics except on ff. 1 and 44v; outer fillet of gold on f. 1 (with an additional line-drawn outer fillet).  Miniatures are accompanied by champie initials except on f. 1 (which has a foliate initial).
Mort Artu: ff. 53 col. b line 13-96v col. d line 43, followed, 4 lines below, by explicit (S VI 203-391; [F]). Rubric inc.   Ensi que li roy Artu enquiert a mon signeur Gauuain quans chevaliers il auoit ochis en lenqueste.   Text inc.   Apres che que Maistres Gautiers Map ot traitie des auentures del saint Graal asses souffisaument si comme il fu auis al roi Henri son signor que ce quil auoit fait ne deuoit pas souffire sil ne racontoit la fin de chaus dont il auoit deuant fait mention...  (S VI 203.1; Frappier 1.1.1).  Expl.  ...Ensi sen ala li rois Bohors tous sels auoec larceuesque et auoec Blyobleris et vsa auoec els le remanant de sa vie por lamor de nostre Seignor. Si se taist ore maistre Gautiers Map de lestoire de Lancelot. Car bien la toute menee a fin selong les choses qui en auindrent et define ensi sen liure si outreement que apres che en poroit nus raconter chose quil ne mentist.  (Frappier 263. 204.13) (4 lines blank)  Explicit de la mort le roi Artu.  (S VI 391.7).   48 miniatures by hand 1, all preceded by rubrics and followed by champie initials; one additional champie without rubric or miniature on f. 53.

London, British Library, MS Royal 14.E.III (hereafter Royal)
Estoire (ending incomplete), Queste, Mort Artu (ending incomplete); Merlin and Lancelot missing.
1 volume, ii+162+ii ff. ff. 1, 2, and 162, are ruled with 18 lines in 2 cols, blank intercolumnar space: 400x240. The rest, numbered ff. 3-161, measure 480-4x338(342x242)mm.  Quires: A-D 12, E 8, F 10, G 12, H 6, I 2, J 12, K 10, L-M 12, N 9, O 10, P 8, ending incomplete.  Occasional catchwords.

Written in textualis formata in 3 columns, 51 lines, in black ink.  Three scribes.  A: ff. 3-88v, 90v col. a, line 7-139ra, line 20.  B: ff. 89-90va line 6; C: ff. 139a line 21-161v.  All scribes good, aspect and rhythm even.  A and B are closer in general aspect to each other than to C.  All wrote formally, the formality of A and B is comparable to that of the rubricators of the Add. MSS.  Rubrics on ff. 3r, 7r, 11v,  appear to be by one scribe, and ff. 101v and 109 another.

Penflourished initials, three lines high, in gold and blue-mauve, alternating with red and blue, all with flourished borders, many with tiny flowers in the flourishing of the initial.  Champie initials without miniatures or rubrics in Mort Artu on ff. 143v, 146v, 148, 150, 152, 154v, 156v, 158, 160; champie initials accompany miniatures on ff. 87 (the first miniature in the last quire (I) of Estoire); ff. 142v, 146, 151v, 152v, 156v, 158v, 159, 161 (Mort Artu, but champies do not accompany miniatures on ff. 140, 150, 153v, 155).

Four-line initials containing figures or heads on ff. 3, 89, 140, for the openings of Estoire, Queste, and Mort Artu, with borders and animals, hybrids, figures, above or below; 116 miniatures in one column, most preceded by two-line spaces left blank for rubrics, all illustrated by one artist; outer fillets in gold throughout.  Most miniatures accompanied by penflourished initials, except those accompanied by champies as noted above, and those followed by plain ink capitals, on ff. 3, 89 col. c, 90. Many notes written in leadpoint in the bottom margin on illustrated pages.  Rubrics on ff. 3, 7, 11v, 101v, 109 only; rubric spaces elsewhere except with opening miniatures.

Estoire:ff. 3-88v, col. c, line 51 (last line) ( [S I; Pon]).  No opening rubric.  Text inc.   Chil ki la hauteche et la signourie de si haute estoire comme est chele du Graal...  ([Pon I 1.1, cf. S I 3.1]), ending incomplete sil en eust eu a touchier a ses / ([S I 295.31; Pon II 575. 905. 5]); 63 miniatures by one illuminator, accompanied by a four-line historiated initial and border supporting figures on f. 3, the rest accompanied by penflourished initials and flourished borders except on f. 87-2 which has a champie initial; rubrics above miniatures on ff. 3, 7, 11v, spaces left black above most of the other miniatures.
Queste:ff. 89 col. a, line 1-139v col. a, line 48 ([S VI 1-199; Pau]).  No opening rubric.  Text inc.   A la ueille de la pentecouste... ([S VI 3.1; Pau1.2]).  Expl. Boort ot contees les auentures del saint Graal teles com il les auoit aveues si furent mises en escrit et gardees en labeie de Salebieres dont maistres Gautiers Map traist a faire son liure del saint Graal pour la mour del roi Henri son seigneur qui fist lestoire translater de latin en franchois. Si se taist atant li contes ke plus nen dist des auentures del saint Graal.  ([S VI 199.5; Pau 280.5]).  31 miniatures, accompanied by rubrics on ff. 101v, 109.
Mort Artu:ff. 140 col. a, line 1-161v col. f, line 51 (last line) ([S VI 203-295; F]).  No opening rubric. Text inc.   Apres  che que maistres Gautiers Map ot traitie des auentures del saint Graal asses sousfissaument si come il fu auis au roi Henri son seignor ke che quil auoit fait nen deoit pas souffrir sil ne racontoit la fin de chiaus dont il auoit deuant fait mention...  ([S V 203.1; F 1.1.1]).   Ending incomplete,  ...que dire non mie quil ait paour  /  ([S VI 295.25; F 140. 109. 19]).  12 miniatures accompanied by champie initials except on f. 140 which has an initial with a bishop s head and ff. 150, 153v which have a penflourished initial; spaces left blank for rubrics; 9 champie initials without miniaturesor rubrics (listed above).

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