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This is of course the X which is the subject of these remarks. Things didn't end well for Richard, as he subsequently died at Pontefract Castle perhaps being starved to death. In this collection of animal tales in German, a fox, having grown old and setting off on a pilgrimage, refuses the companionship of the watch-dog, wild ass, bear, lion, peacock, wolf, pig and mule. The diary of which English king is found in the Cotton library? Set up a giveaway. By the end of that day, Twitter had reduced me to near hysterical giggles and I wondered if I might have to lie down under my desk. Westminster Abbey today is probably not much different from the time of Matthew Paris.
View or edit your browsing history. According to legend, James went to Spain to spread the Gospel before returning to Jerusalem, where he was beheaded. His friends placed his head and body in a boat, which miraculously carried them to the Galician coast. After suffering trials and persecutions at the hands of local pagans, they finally buried his remains on a hill now the site of the famous cathedral of Santiago , where they lay forgotten for many centuries.
The cult of St James was revived in the 7th and 8th centuries when Christianity in Spain was under threat from Muslim expansion. St James allegedly appeared in a dream to Charlemagne, urging him to liberate his tomb from the Moors and showing him the direction to follow by the Milky Way: The first known pilgrim to Santiago de Compostela was Gotescalc, bishop of Puy in France, who visited the shrine in The Empress Matilda, granddaughter of William the Conqueror, went on pilgrimage there in By the 12th century, half a million pilgrims were travelling from as far as Scandinavia, England and southern Italy, and hospitals, hostels, roads and bridges had been built to accommodate them.
Add MS , f. Getting there and back is much easier than in the Middle Ages, when most people walked or rode on horseback. Pilgrims came from all corners of Europe to worship at Canterbury Cathedral, where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered by four knights on the evening of 29 December The upper two depict Becket at table, being told of the knights' arrival.
The martyrdom of Thomas Becket, England, 4th quarter of the 12th century: The routes from London and Winchester remain popular with modern pilgrims, passing through the Sussex and Kent countryside.
Many people like to watch travel programmes on television, seeing places we may never visit. Some people were unable to go on pilgrimage, but they could make a spiritual journey using guides or maps. Numerous medieval versions of the allegorical pilgrimage were written for this purpose, where the pilgrim had to overcome various obstacles to reach the final goal of spiritual fulfilment. In this French text, the pilgrim is guided by the lady Grace-Dieu. As far as we know, Matthew never made the journey himself, instead learning of the route from travellers who passed through St Albans Abbey in the 13th century.
The first part of his plan shows the journey from London in the lower left-hand column to Dover and then, in the right-hand column, from Boulogne-sur-Mer on the French coast to Beauvais. In the medieval world, animals also went on pilgrimage. Here is an example from the Smithfield Decretals.
In this collection of animal tales in German, a fox, having grown old and setting off on a pilgrimage, refuses the companionship of the watch-dog, wild ass, bear, lion, peacock, wolf, pig and mule. A fox choosing its companions for a pilgrimage, from Ulrich von Pottenstein, Spiegel der Weisheit, Salzburg, c. Egerton MS , f. Follow us on Twitter BLMedieval. To celebrate, we've decided to test our readers' knowledge of the Cotton library.
Some of these questions are easier than others, we hope.
loewen-group.com: Wildman's "The Same Ol' Page": A Compilation of Essays and Poetry.: Jupiter Effect eBook: Blake Harris: Kindle Store. Writer at Harris' Craft Works: Check-out "Wildman's The Same Ol' Page" on loewen-group.com titled "Wildman's The Same Ol' Page: A Compilation of Essays and Poetry". Back In Time; Circus Of Thoughts; Destination's Unknown; Jupiter Effect;.
There are no prizes up for grabs but please let us know how you get on via Twitter, BLMedieval , using the hashtag cottonquiz, or by the comments field below. How old was Sir Robert Cotton when he acquired his first manuscript? And for a bonus point, what was the manuscript in question? In —03, Robert Cotton presented a dozen manuscripts to whom, one of the earliest donations for which other great collection? Today is London History Day, and here are some of our favourite medieval depictions of that city, at once distant yet somehow still recognizable.
London is one of the oldest capital cities, which has survived the fall of the Roman Empire, viking attacks, fires and more. Let's start our survey with the earliest surviving detailed map of the British Isles. This map was made in southern England in the midth century, but it may have been based on earlier models, possibly including maps made under the Roman Empire. The British Isles is shown in the lower left corner, with Lundona being one of the places named. An early map of the world, dating from the 11th century: The itinerary of Matthew Paris d. Matthew also picked out several landmarks, all of which still exist in some form or another today.
At the bottom of the map, Matthew Paris listed several of the gates of London. Charles had been captured at the Battle of Agincourt in and he was held in England for the next twenty-five years. At the centre of the image is the Tower of London, where Charles was imprisoned during some of this time in England and where he composed his poems. He was held in captivity there shortly after being deposed in Things didn't end well for Richard, as he subsequently died at Pontefract Castle perhaps being starved to death.
Richard II in the Tower: Harley MS , f. One thing is certain. There are now fewer elephants in residence at the Tower than there were in the time of Matthew Paris! His building is unfamiliar to modern eyes, since he depicted it with a steeple and not with the iconic dome designed by Christopher Wren d.
Westminster Abbey today is probably not much different from the time of Matthew Paris. In the same manuscript as the Itinerary, Matthew Paris drew depictions of kings holding objects with which they are particularly identified. The Abbey today is still largely the same design as that commissioned by Henry. Other London landmarks looked very different. The population of London was also substantially smaller: John Lydgate recounted how, at 4pm on 20 November , the young son of a butcher was pushed by an ox and fell off London Bridge.
Thanks to the help of St Edmund, a passing boatman rescued the child and returned him, safe and sound, to his mother. A boy falling off London Bridge and being returned by a boatman to his mother: Yates Thompson MS 47 , ff. Alison Hudson and Julian Harrison. We have been hard at work here at the British Library and we are excited to share with you a brand new list of Digitised Manuscripts hyperlinks. You can currently view on Digitised Manuscripts no less than 1, manuscripts and documents made in Europe before , with more being added all the time.
Not quite satisfied with this story, Walpole adds a definition: It is as if each object in the [collection] ineluctably unfolds its own history, a history that is tied to other images, other places in the text. I would like instead to wind up these remarks by sharing my own serendipitous discovery—which bears in a small way on the intellectual history of the concept itself. Cole Research Fellow in the summer of My wife was six months pregnant, but we had decided to reserve this month so I could substantially complete research on the last couple of tricky objects for The Mind Is a Collection , a virtual museum of objects people used to model cognitive theories.
I was doing what you can do when you have the time, space, and resources for research: It was there that I ran across an early modern theory of knowledge-acquisition, in which we discover things by accident. To my ear, this was a clear echo of Walpole. That story is now in print, and has become useful to people working on the serendipity concept—for it shows us some of the ideas Walpole himself was weaving together when he coined his term.
There, on page 12, are the coats of arms Walpole describes, and, in the margin, a little X, penned there to register the frisson of his discovery. This is of course the X which is the subject of these remarks. Walpole, with his joints not yet suffering from the gout that would cripple him late in life, held open that tightly bound little book, and placed a neat ideogram in the margin. You may still see it there.
It is the first serendipitous discovery so-called. It also marks a spot: He had been at Yale twenty years ahead of me, had formed a fine library of medical history, and was then making his notable collection of weights.
Rowleie, , for Mastre Canynge. The letter in which he did so has been almost entirely cut away. Soon after my return from France, I received another letter from Chatterton, the style of which was singularly impertinent. My heart did not accuse me of insolence to him. I wrote an answer expostulating with him on his injustice, and renewing good advice—but upon second thoughts, reflecting that so wrong-headed a young man, of whom I knew nothing, and whom I had never seen, might be absurd enough to print my letter, I flung it into the fire; and wrapping up both his poems and letters, without taking a copy of either, for which I am now sorry, I returned all to him, and thought no more of him or them, till about a year and half after, when [a gap in all printed versions].
Dining at the Royal Academy, Dr Goldsmith drew the attention of the company with an account of a marvellous treasure of ancient poems lately discovered at Bristol, and expressed enthusiastic belief in them, for which he was laughed at by Dr Johnson, who was present. I soon found this was the trouvaille of my friend Chatterton; and I told Dr Goldsmith that this novelty was none to me, who might, if I had pleased, have had the honour of ushering the great discovery to the learned world. You may imagine, Sir, we did not at all agree in the measure of our faith; but though his credulity diverted me, my mirth was soon dashed, for on asking about Chatterton, he told me he had been in London, and had destroyed himself.
I heartily wished then that I had been the dupe of all the poor young man had written to me, for who would not have his understanding imposed on to save a fellow being from the utmost wretchedness, despair and suicide! The Mercantile Library, a lending library of contemporary books, acquired the four volumes in I of course hurried to see them. The trifle of a day. Then, friend let inclination be thy guide, Nor be by superstition led aside. The saint and sinner, fool and wise attain An equal share of easiness and pain.
New Haven and London: Yale University Press, He frequently added the month below the year on the title-page and the names of anonymous authors; throughout are his crosses, short dashes, exclamation points, and, rarely, an asterisk. I bought the collection from the estate of Sir Leicester Harmsworth in A few marginal markings by Walpole. A farther illustration of the Analysis [ of Mythology ], Author identified by Walpole and numerous marginal markings by him. A vindication of some passages in the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of the History, One correction in manuscript by Walpole.
There are pieces in 88 volumes, 8vo. Walpole listed the pieces in each volume, but made only a few marginalia. It is disappointing because it has no marginalia; doubtless Walpole had another set that he annotated and cut up. This collection was given to Harvard in , a most enviable gift. The man who greeted me was Mr Charles Massey, a survivor of the old-time bookseller. When I returned there were of the plays waiting for me on a long table.
They sold the rest, over plays, to Pickering and Chatto, who put each play into a brown manila wrapper with acid, I was to discover years later, that defaced the title-pages. Mr Massey stood deferentially beside me while I went through the collection, play by play. Walpole had written the month the play appeared below the year on the title-page and occasionally pasted in a newspaper cutting. There had been 59 volumes when the set was sold in , but only 40 of the original covers remained; the rest had been sold off by Maggs with single plays.
Accordingly, some of the plays had to go into different covers. This sorting and arranging went on for days, while Mr Massey, who suffered cruelly from asthma, stood by my side and talked about books and book-collecting. It was one of the pleasantest experiences of my collecting life. Lewis continues with more details of his experiences with Mr. Massey and the staff of Pickering and Chatto, the discovery of the whereabouts of more plays, and the process of authenticating them and matching them to their original volumes. Lewis then recounts how he acquired the plays from the institutional collections which held them.
Forty-eight of the fifty-seven covers are at Farmington, seven at Harvard, two are untraced. The plays at Farmington have been shelved by my librarian, Mrs Catherine Jestin. Most of the Bayntun bindings had to be taken apart to restore the plays to their original order. Eight of the volumes are complete and at the end of the set is volume 58, the Prologues and Epilogues given me by Mrs Percival Merritt in memory of her husband.
The plays stand above the unbroken collection of pre plays in nineteen volumes that came from Lord Derby at Knowsley in The collection is now housed in protective boxes and shelved in secure climate-controlled stacks. I knew nothing about his library, but I knew that every library is a projection of the person who makes it. I also liked handling and reading the books that Walpole cared enough about to buy and annotate as he had annotated the first of his books that I saw.
At least such a poem is utterly unknown in England; nor is any book written by the last Lord Baltimore known, but a silly account of his Travels in prose, H. The Depression had its compensations for collectors. It is a strong candidate for this Choice, but I am making it Choice 13 for reasons I explain there. Space was no problem for him; when he ran out of it he built another room.
The library has many other candidates for rescue, but I think Walpole would be pleased by my saving Lysons because he loved the histories of counties, towns, cathedrals, and great houses. He extra-illustrated and bound the four royal quartos handsomely in red morocco. Nay, last week one company brought the volume with them, and besides wanting to see various invisible particulars, it made them loiter so long by referring to your text, that I thought the housekeeper with her own additional clack, would never have rid the house of them. Earls were entitled to four, but Walpole seems to be content with two.
Private Chaplaincies were handed out by peers to help youthful clergymen gain higher preferment. Later the monogram of Charles I was stamped on the rear cover. Eighty percent of those recovered, some titles, are at Farmington. In the thirties and forties I got one and a letter to or from Walpole on the average of one every four or five days; now I do well to get four or five a year. We know, as I have said, that some of the books were destroyed by booksellers, but hundreds more have lost their identities through rebinding and are sitting unrecognized on learned shelves.
It was rebound after His copies at Farmington are shelved in the same order as at Strawberry. In our North Library Press A is on the right of the door as you face it from the inside; Press M is to the left, with the books from the Round Tower and Offices between it and the door. Over the door is a water-color of the main library flanked by drawings of the river and garden. Near the books formerly in the Glass Closet and Press E is a drawing of Walpole showing him seated by them. Few are insensitive to his presence as they stand amidst his books.
In , Horace Walpole attended a vast, thirty eight-day auction that dismantled the collection of the recently deceased Margaret Cavendish Bentinck, duchess of Portland Over a lifetime of voracious collecting, the duchess had assembled a largely unrivalled collection of natural history specimens alongside art works and antiquities, including the now famous Portland Vase.
Formed of a twenty-six centimetre quarto, with title page, frontispiece, preface and instructions for the conditions of sale, the catalogue contained the descriptions of over four thousand lots. Each copy was given a unique number upon printing, adding to the culture of exclusivity being cultivated by Skinner both prior to and during the auction.
Portable, the text could be carried around by its purchaser and displayed on their person; it marked participation in a closed and fashionable community that was swiftly building around the sale and reflective of the wider relationship between consumerism and sociability. The duchess of Portland was a member of the group of intellectual and creative women known collectively as the Bluestockings.
However, unlike so many of her contemporaries like Elizabeth Montagu, Anna Barbauld, Hannah Moore or Elizabeth Carter, her activities were, during her lifetime, rarely reported in the public sphere, her portrait rarely circulated and her curatorial activities confined to a closed circle of elite friends. Gossip grew in the weeks preceding the sale, which began on 24 April Topics of both public and private speculation including the reasons for the auction itself, what would be sold there, and who would buy what. Mr Horace Walpole not myself called on me yesterday morning, when no will of the Duchess of Portland has been found.
He thinks the bulk of the collection will be sold, but that the Duke  will reserve the principal curiosities — I hope so, for I should long for some of them, and am become too poor to afford them. Increasingly, auctions were inevitably associated with the undertaking trade. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.