About this text
De Amico ad Amicam
Series: Taylor Editions
Editor: Edited with a translation by Rebecca Henderson.Note: This digital edition was made by Rebecca Henderson (1 June 1994 – 27 February 2019). Rebecca studied for a BA in English and Modern Languages at St Anne’s College, Oxford and then began studying for a MSt. in English 650-1550. This edition was made as part of her coursework for the MSt. It reflects her interest in the multilingual nature of medieval literature, and in making medieval literature accessible – here, by digital means. At the start of her MSt., Rebecca became seriously ill with cancer of the heart, had her heart removed, and returned to her studies the following year with a total artificial heart. Despite these extraordinary challenges, she managed to produce this digital edition, alongside other publications on medieval literature. Tragically, she died from complications after a heart transplant before she could finish the MSt.
Cambridge, University Library, MS. Gg.4.27
This manuscript contains 19 texts, including De Amico ad Amicum
- Hi A, B, C or La Prier de nostre Dame (fol. 5r)
- Litera directa de Icogon, per G.C (fol.7v)
- A short ‘Balad de bone conseyl’ is added (fol. 8v)
- No title, beginning ‘In May when every herte is lyʒt’
- De Amico ad Amicum (fol. 10v)
- Responcio (fol. 11r), beginning ‘A soun treschere et special’
- The five Bookes of Troilus and Cresseid (fol.14r)
- The Canterbury Tales (fol.123r), breaks off at fol.375v in the ‘Parson’s Prologue’
- After a gap, the remained of the ‘Parson’s Prologue’ (fol.376r-412v)
- The Prologue of the Legend of Good Women (fol. 413r)
- The Legend of Cleopatra (fol. 420r)
- The Legend of Tisbe of Babylon (fol. 422r)
- The Legend of Dido, queene of Carthage (fol. 424r)
- The Legend of Hipsiphile and Medea (fol. 430v)
- The Legend of Lucrece of Rome (fol. 434v)
- The Legend of Philomene (fol. 441r)
- The Legend of Hypermestre (fol. 445v)
- The Parliament of Fowls (fol. 448r)
- The Temple of Glass (fol.458r)
- Supplicatio Amantis (fol. 467), begins ‘Redresse of sorweful O Cytherea’
The following pieces are then inserted in a different hand:
- A portion of the Romance of Florice and Blauncheflour, beginning abruptly ‘Heo tok forþ a wel fair þing’
- Horn, begins ‘Alle beon he bliþe’
- Asumpcion de nostre Dame, begins ‘Merie tale telle ihe þis day’
Parchment: written in two hands: 203 x 105mm, i + 14 leaves, in single column. There are illuminated borders using gold, red, blue, and brown paint; there are a number of red and blue initials and flourishes scattered through out the book.
Written in England in the 15th cent. The original fifteenth-century portion contained 517 leaves, with 63 now missing. All seem to have been removed intentionally with a knife (perhaps not all at the same time), and knife marks appear on the following leaf. In almost every case the missing leaf occurs where we would expect to find illuminated borders and/or miniatures (there is decoration left behind on the stubs); in some instances, the removed leaves have been stitched back in.
About this edition
This is a facsimile and transcription of De Amico ad Amicam. Reproduced by kind permission of the Syndics of Cambridge University Library. Shelf mark: Gg.4.27.
The transcription and translation were encoded in TEI P5 XML by Rebecca Henderson.
Transcribed from: Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27 (part 1a) ff. 10v-11v. Images scanned from Cambridge University Library Gg.4.27 (part 1a) ff. 10v-11v
De Amico ad Amicam. Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, MS. Gg.4.27, fols. 10v-11v. (with an English translation by Rebecca Henderson.)
Created by encoding transcription from manuscript.
Folios have been indicated as this corresponds to the labelling of pages in the manuscript (as can be seen in the top right hand corner of f.11r); this is also consistent with descriptions of the manuscript in catalogue entries and other scholarship. The other folios contain around 38 lines of writing in a single column aligned to the left of the page; lineation for transcription and translation is complicated by the mise-en-page here. At first glance, the poem appears to be written in rhyming couplets, with the first line in French, the second in English (bar the final couplet of De Amico ad Amicam, where the English comes first). Beside each couplet, almost interlineally, is a single Latin word: the scribe has shown the connections through a kind of bracket connecting rhyming words. As the scribe has visually drawn attention to patterns of rhyme, this is reflected in the transcription by the addition of breaks to divide the poems into stanzas of six lines. The Latin, placed after each rhyming couplet, is indented to show its spatial separation in the manuscript.
General principles of transcription:
- All punctuation is editorial and is intended only due to facilitate reading due to the challenging syntax and sentence structure
- All abbreviations have been expanded; expansions are italicised and follow the orthography of the scribe
- Both r and s have only one form despite variation in the manuscript
- & is used to represent the tironian nota. It is expanded to "et" in Latin and Anglo-Norman, and to "and" in Middle English
- Rejected readings and linguistic points of interest appear in footnotes
- Insertions have been indicated by square brackets
- Scribal use of u/v and i/j has been retained.
- é has been used to indicate a tonic e
- Word division has been retained