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'Historia regum Britanniae'
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'Historia regum Britanniae'

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A folio manuscript containing a Latin text of Geoffrey of Monmouth's 'Historia Regum Britanniae'. The spine is inscribed in gilt 'Galfrid Monvmetensis Historia'. A small, square label bearing the number 32 has been pasted on at the base of the spine. A note 'Bound by Lewis' and the inscription 'Sir T. P., Middle Hill, No. 32' under the figure of a lion rampant are found on the centre panel of the inner side of the upper cover. The name 'Thos. Phillipps' and the note '32 MSS. Ph.' have been inscribed on the recto of the first (modern) fly-leaf, and the bottom left - hand corner of the verso of the same leaf is stamped 'Bound by Hering'. The vellum leaves have a generous margin but some have natural medial flaws and irregular edges and a few have flaws which have been repaired. The text is written in double columns of forty lines each in a regular, somewhat angular, Gothic hand probably of the first half of the thirteenth century and possibly the first quarter. The preface and 'Historia' proper have large initials in red and blue and each chapter has a large initial in red or blue often with decorative work in the same or the contrasting colour. Most of the catchwords appear to have been cut away probably in the process of trimming for binding. The text is not divided into books. It has the customary preface (Incipit and Explicit, f. 1 recto) but there is no direct reference to a patron. Robert, earl of Gloucester, is referred to obliquely as follows - 'Si autem in hoc libello corrigendum est aliquid a to corrigatur nec gaufndi monomutensis censeatur sed sale minerue minerue (sic) tue conditus illius dicatur editio quem henricus anglorum rex generauit . . .'. The 'Historia' proper commences on f. 1 recto, and the prophesies of Merlin, with the prefatory remarks referring to Alexander, bishop of Lincoln, are introduced on f. 29 verso. The explicit of the 'Historia' (f. 60 verso) is preceded by the epilogue with references to [William] of Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon. The following note in French - 'an 11? 52 mommouth an angletere' - has been inserted in the space between the heads of the two columns of f. 1 recto.