|Article: Bestiary of Anne Walshe|
Appendix A : Catalog Description of KB Gl.kgl. S. 1633 4°
Appendix B : Correspondence with Erik Drigsdahl
Erik Drigsdahl is the director of the Center for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark (Center For Manuscript Studies) in Copenhagen. This correspondence was conducted via email.
David Badke: I am interested in one of the two bestiary manuscripts at the Kongelige Bibliotek, Copenhagen KB GkS 1633 4° (the Bestiarius of Anne Walshe). During my search for information on this manuscript I found your most useful CHD Guide and Web site. I have also seen the short article by Chr. Bruun (from De illuminerede Haandskrifter fra Middelalderen i Det store kgl. Bibliothek) on the Kongelige Bibliotek Web site, which appears to be all that has been written about the manuscript - at least that article, as well as your Guide, is all I have been able to find so far, except for the occasional inclusion of the manuscript in lists of surviving bestiaries. Unfortunately for me, the Bruun text is in Danish, which I cannot read and have not found anyone here to translate for me. Do you have, or can you provide, a translation into English for me? Do you perhaps have other codicological or historical information on the manuscript, or know where I can obtain such information?
Erik Drigsdahl: Thank You for the mail. The Danish text in the catalogue by Chr. Bruun is obsolete and worthless. I will try to make an abstract in English for you. Apart from the exhibition in 1952 (Swedish Edition of the catalogue "Gyllene Böcker", 1952 no. 58) has nothing been published later on the manuscript. The entry in M.R. James is partly erroneous, because he got the information in a letter from the Royal Library, and did not see the ms. himself.
In the opening exhibition of The (new) Royal Library building in 1999 is the ms. catalogue nr. 137, but the entry is only 3-4 lines with the same contents as the information on the KB site (Living Words & Luminous Pictures, edited by Erik Petersen, Copenhagen 1999, Catalogue no.137 p.97) You will hear from me again over the week-end.
The text in the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts by Christian Bruun(1898) is (almost literally translated): (p.117-118)
Bestiarius GkS 1633 14th cent.
"The handwriting, with which this book has been written, points securely towards England, as the country of origin. That it was in English possession before it came to Denmark, can be concluded from certain names or remarks in the English language, who are found written in the margins. The manuscript, who contains the nature of the animals seen as an allegorical representation of human life, well known under the name "Bestiarius", consist of 76 leaves, measuring 20 x 14 centimeters. The stories are ornated with 117 illustrations. These are all unproportionally large, with coarse, often terribly raw (boorish) figures, particular in the rendering of the human body. The outlines are drawn with a soft light pen. The pictures were then filled in with thin pigmented colors which not always are clean. Finally have the contours been lined (traced) heavily up. The lines are very soft, rather (bold) rounded and drawn with a not insignificant accuracy. On fol.8 can be read: "This book belongs to me Jørgen Høeg". Fol.72 can the name: "Anne Walstie" or "Walshe" be read."
That's all! You are probably not any wiser, (but at least will you no longer have to bother about what the text eventually could offer). I can add that the author had no education as an art historian, he was the director of the Royal Library, and much of his material on the artistic contents of the manuscripts has he taken from the unpublished notes of the first professional Danish art historian by the name N.L. Høyen (1798-1870), whose papers and notebooks are today in the library.
Appendix C : Correspondence with Nicole Green
At the time of writing, Nicole Green was a doctoral student at Oxford University.
David Badke: I am doing a paper (for C. Harding) on a bestiary manuscript of English origin, circa 1400. I am trying to identify the type of script, but my skills are weak. I think it is a Gothic book hand, maybe some sort of black letter. It is not an exact match for any of the samples in Michelle Brown's book; I assume it is some regional or modified script. Can you take a look? The manuscript in question is the Bestiary of Anne Walshe: Copenhagen, Kongelige Bibliotek Gl. kgl. Saml. 1633 4°.
Nicole Green: You're right--this is a toughie. And Brown's book isn't too helpful. Probably Parkes would be better. In any case, here I go, taking a stab at it: Yes, looks English. Funny it's in quarto, don't you think? As for the letterforms, what's probably confusing you is that there are elements from at least two scripts here: The d, de biting, and general aspect are textura, whilst letters like the descending f, long-s, x, long- and 2-shaped r come from an anglicana repertoire. Textura was designed to stay mainly on the line without unnecessary ascenders and descenders, so those spiky long-r's and s's just wouldn't happen. The litterae notabiliores are classic late s.xiv/xv, generally speaking. This is a funny hand, though, and I wonder if some of the forms don't suggest that the scribe is trying to imitate the script in his exemplar. I find the biting of b and a strange. Did you decide there was one scribe or two? In any case what you could say in talking about the script is that it's a mixed hand with both anglicana and textura elements (we don't really bother with the really long names in Latin that Brown uses). Try looking at English Cursive Bookhands, xvi-xviii, since you could probably have grounds for calling this hand 'bastard anglicana'--that is, a mixture of textura and anglicana. Remember this is just loose terminology to get your reader acquainted with the style of the script, rather than a precise label--if you look at a gazillion manuscripts you'll realise (or maybe you have already) that these kinds of precise labels are impossible to maintain--there would be too many, and it's far more beneficial to describe what you're seeing than to just stick a complicated label on it that really means "Scribe X wrote this"... Does any of this help?
Appendix D : Bestiary Chapter Order
Chapter orders of four bestiaries. The common beast name is given where it is known; otherwise the Latin name is used. The Bestiary of Anne Walshe most closely matches the Second Family Cambridge MS Ii. 4.26.
Sources: "MS Laud Misc. 247" is Oxford University, Bodleian Library MS Laud Misc. 247; chapter order is adapted from Baxter, Bestiaries and Their Users in the Middle Ages, p.90-91. "Aberdeen Bestiary" is Aberdeen University Library MS 24; chapter order is adapted from the digital facsimile. "Cambridge Ii. 4.26" is Cambridge University Library MS Ii. 4. 26; chapter order is adapted from Baxter, Bestiaries and Their Users in the Middle Ages, p.137-140. "Anne Walshe" is Kongelige Bibliotek Gl. kgl. S. 1633 4º; chapter order is adapted from Center for Håndskriftstudier i Danmark (CHD) Web site, with additions/corrections from the digital facsimile.
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